The concept of “well-being” has subjective and objective component. The objective components relate to such concerns as are generally known by the term “standard of living” or “level of living”. The subjective component of well-being (as expressed by each individual) is referred to as “quality of life”. Let us consider these concepts separately.
1. Standard of living
The term “standard of living” refers to the usual scale of our expenditure, the goods we consume and the services we enjoy. It includes the level of education, employment status, food, dress, house, amusements and comforts of modern living.
There are vast inequalities in the standards of living of the people in different countries of the world.
2. Level of living
It consists of nine components: health, food consumption, education, occupation and working conditions, housing, social security, clothing, recreation and leisure and human rights. These objective characteristics are believed to influence human well-being. It is considered that health is the most important component of the level of living because its impairment always means impairment of the level of living.
3. Quality of life
It is the “subjective” component of well-being “Quality of life” was defined by WHO as: “the condition of life resulting from the combination of the effects of the complete range of factors such as those determining health, happiness (including comfort in the physical environment and a satisfying occupation), education, social and intellectual attainment, freedom of action, justice and freedom of expression”.
People are now demanding a better quality of life. Therefore, governments all over the world are increasingly concerned about improving the quality of life of their people by reducing morbidity and mortality, providing primary health care and enhancing physical, mental and social well-being.