In simple words, the standard of living implies the level of welfare provided to the residents of a country, i.e. it may refer to all those goods and services that people are able to consume and the resources they can access. On the contrary, quality of life indicates the welfare and well being of a person or group.
Standard of Living is a quantifiable term, in the sense that it takes into account only material factors. As against, quality of life is a subjective assessment of how satisfied and contented people are, in a particular region or area.
So, the basic difference between the standard of living and quality of life lies in the individual preferences, i.e. the standard of living of people does not change as per the individual preferences, whereas the quality of life depends greatly on the individual preferences. These are nothing but two ways of understanding well being.
This write-up is all about the difference between standard of living and quality of life.
Content: Standard of Living Vs Quality of Life
|Basis for Comparison||Standard of Living||Quality of Life|
|Meaning||Standard of Living refers to a tool to measure the level of comfort, material stuff, wealth and basic necessities, available to a particular socioeconomic class.||Quality of Life refers to the degree to which people of a certain country or state are healthy, happy, contented and satisfied in their lives.|
|Perspective Required||Macro Perspective||Micro Perspective|
|Determines||Material wellbeing||Human wellbeing|
|Determinants||Remains same for all the countries, or regions||Varies from person to person|
|Level of income||Exclusively based on income level||Not exclusively based on income level|
|Reflected in||Level of consumption and purchasing power.||Degree of freedom, freedom of choice, civil liberties, leisure and pleasures in life.|
Definition of Standard of Living
Practically, the Standard of Living of people of a country is reflected in the way in which people live, such as how much money they have to spend on, how their houses are constructed, how educated they are, what facilities are available to them, etc.
Standard of Living is a measure of comparison which is used to different countries, or regions, on the basis of metrics such as level of comfort, wealth, material possessions and basic necessities, which the residents have access to, in those geographic areas.
Real income per person and poverty rate are the two indicators that determine the standard of living. It analyses the quantity of material goods and services produced and sold in a particular region like a state or country.
Basically, to measure the standard of living components which can easily be quantified are taken into consideration like income, employment opportunities, poverty, cost of goods and services, life expectancy, infant mortality, rate of inflation, etc. Here it must be noted that:
- High standard of living results in more demand for comfort and luxury products, whereas a low standard of living less demand for comfort and luxury products.
- It is based on both the quality and quantity of the available goods and services and how they are distributed among the population.
Standard of living implies the availability of the level of welfare to the people of a certain area, indicating the ease by which they can comfortably fulfil their needs. This may include the physical environment where they live, the products and services they can avail or able to consume and the resources which they can access.
Definition of Quality of Life
Quality of life can be defined as an individual’s outlook about his/her position in life with respect to the culture and value system, to which they belong and covers both positive and negative aspects of life.
- It is based on an individual’s life situations.
- It incorporates the physical and psychological health of a person along with their degree of independence, social associations and the way they relate to the surrounding.
- It can be measured by both objective and subjective indicators, however in general it is measured using descriptive measures for example satisfaction and happiness
Here objective factors mean material resources, physical and mental health, education, employment, wealth, recreation, living conditions, religious beliefs, freedom, independence, security, etc. whereas the subjective factors, which an individual has about them, i.e. it simply relies on a person’s needs and perception.
Quality of Life is determined by the overall welfare within a particular society that focuses on providing an opportunity to accomplish the objectives. It covers a number of subjective, i.e. non-financial factors that can influence human lives such as satisfaction and happiness.
Key Differences Between Standard of Living and Quality of Life
After taking a peep into the basic concept of standard of living and quality of life, let’s us move forward to understand the difference between them:
- Standard of Living is used to refer to the level of income, necessities, services and other material well being which are readily available to the people of a particular country. On the contrary, quality of life can be defined as the kind of life, a person or group is living with regard to his/her physical and psychological well being, independence and social associations.
- Standard of Living needs a macro perspective, as it talks about the way of living of the overall population in a particular geographical area. As against, quality of life needs a micro perspective, which considers the circumstances and perceptions of individuals.
- While the standard of living determines the material wellbeing of the citizens of a country, i.e. the pursuit of comfort and luxury in life, quality of life exhibits human wellbeing, i.e. how happy, peaceful or satisfied a person is from his/her life.
- The factors that affect the standard of living remains the same for all the countries, whereas the factors affecting the quality of life, differs from one person to another, i.e. the definition of quality of life for one person may not be the same for another person.
- Standard of Living is exclusively based on the level of income i.e. the higher the level of income, the higher would be the standard of living. In contrast, Quality of Life is not exclusively based on the level of income, i.e. higher income would not necessarily mean better quality of life.
- Standard of living can be reflected through the level of consumption and purchasing power wherein a higher level of consumption and purchasing power indicates a high standard of living. As against, quality of life can be reflected in the degree of freedom, freedom of choice, civil liberties, that is available to people.
|Standard of Living||Quality of Life|
|Quality of housing||Freedom of speech|
|Medical Care||Human and legal rights|
|Transportation facilities||Food, water and air quality|
|Career Opportunities||Health and happiness|
Standard of Living is regarded as important because it contributes to the quality of life of a person. Quality of life is all about how a person feels about their life, whereas the standard of living is all about comfort, material possessions, wealth and so on.