An Evidence-Based Approach to the Construction of Summary Quality-of-Life Indices

  • Kenneth C. Land
Part of the Social Indicators Research Series book series (SINS, volume 24)


This paper commences with a review of some objectives for social indicators and quality-of-life research that were stated in the founding years of the social indicators movement. It then reviews the current state of the art in constructing objective social indicators and in studies of subjective well-being. Using recent work the author and associates have done on the development of a Child Well-being Index (Cwi), it is demonstrated how the findings of studies of subjective well-being can be used to inform the construction of summary quality-of-life indices. In particular, it is shown how the Cwi can be viewed as a well-beingevidence-based measure of trends in averages of the social conditions encountered by children and youths in the U.S. across recent decades. Several key properties of the Cwi are discussed. Various empirical findings regarding child well-being in the United States are summarized. The presentation concludes with some developments in the Cwi that are needed if it is to fulfill the founding objectives of the social indicators project.


Social Indicator Health Domain Summary Index Social Indicator Research Domain Index 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenneth C. Land
    • 1
  1. 1.Duke UniversityDurhamUSA

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