Standard of living

Standard of living is the level of income, comforts and services available, generally applied to a society or location, rather than to an individual.[1] Standard of living is relevant because it is considered to contribute to an individual's quality of life.[2] Standard of living is generally concerned with objective metrics outside an individual's personal control, such as economic, societal, political and environmental matters – such things that an individual might consider when evaluating where to live in the world, or when assessing the success of economic policy.

In international law, an "adequate standard of living" was first described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and further described in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. To evaluate the impact of policy for sustainable development, different disciplines have defined Decent Living Standards in order to evaluate or compare relative living experience.[3]

During much of its use in economics, improvements to standard of living was thought to be directly connected to economic growth, increase amount of energy consumption and other materials. However, the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report found that literature demonstrates that improvements in sustainable development practices as well as changes in technological efficiency and energy production and use, allow for a Decent Living Standard for all people without fossil fuels and ~15.3 GJ per capita by the end of the 21st century.[4] This allows for climate change mitigation by demand reduction as well as other sustainable development practices.[4]

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