Abstract:Housing is a major element of people's material living standards. It is essential to meet basic needs, such as for shelter from weather conditions, and to offer a sense of personal security, privacy and personal space. Good housing conditions are also essential for people's health and affect childhood development. Further, housing costs make up a large share of the household budget and constitute the main component of household wealth. This chapter describes housing conditions through indicators of the living space available, access to basic sanitary facilities, the weight of housing costs on household income and people's satisfaction with their housing. No core set of housing indicators currently exists, which underscores the need for more comparable data in this field. Overall, housing conditions seem good in most OECD countries although, in terms of living space, the results are less satisfactory when household composition is taken into consideration. On average, almost all household dwellings in OECD countries have access to basic sanitary facilities, although important differences remain across countries, and a non‐negligible share of people in OECD countries live in overcrowded dwellings. Housing costs are a major concern for households' finances, and income is an essential driver of housing conditions.
Document Type: Review Article
Publication date: October 1, 2011