Is our life all about the opportunities?

Quality of life as a benchmark for politics

Understanding of the federal government of quality of life

The Federal Government understands quality of life as a key concept of a Politics that pursues economic, social and ecological goals at the same time. It is no longer just about ensuring growth and material prosperity. It's not just about “more” material goods, but about “better” the quality of their production and distribution, but also the opportunities for a good life and the conditions in which we live. To see the different aspects of quality of life, prosperity and progress in their positively reinforcing and competing interrelationships is an important prerequisite for effective government action. Improving the quality of life is the task of politics as well as social forces, the economy and, last but not least, the individual citizens themselves.

Quality of life is an open term. It reflects the efforts around social progress, in which as many people as possible should participate in the long term. There are no complete, fixed catalog of dimensions and aspects of quality of life. Challenges and priorities change.

Dimensions and indicators for quality of life

Twelve dimensions and 46 indicators as well as two placeholders To describe and measure quality of life, the Federal Government has decided on the basis of the citizens' dialogue and its evaluation
selected. Findings from interdisciplinary quality of life research and important national and international reference projects were also taken into account.

Indicators provide orientation. They are statistical aids that show the current status of quality of life in the various dimensions. Observed over time, they show how relevant economic, social, ecological and political goals, conditions and structures develop. They draw attention to critical developments at an early stage and help - politicians and other actors alike - to identify potential fields of action. Indicators enable the effectiveness of measures to improve the quality of life to be checked. They enable an objective discussion about the progress or regression of a society.

In principle, all dimensions and indicators are on an equal footing. The federal government consciously takes no hierarchy and weighting in front. All dimensions, aspects and perspectives are equally important.

The overall view of the indicator system makes thematic interfaces, connections and, in some cases, tensions clear. It enables a careful analysis of the situation and a well-founded discussion of urgent fields of action. Decisions about priorities and appropriate measures must be made on an ongoing basis as part of the democratic process.

Regular survey of the quality of life in Germany

The federal government plans to update the report on quality of life in Germany once per legislative period. This should result in a new reporting system that can continuously develop in an open and learning process. The data basis for some dimensions and indicators needs to be improved and existing data gaps need to be closed. Fundamental aspects, such as the number and shape of the dimensions and the selection of indicators, are open to further development. The importance of new social trends, political challenges or scientific findings about the quality of life in Germany can be taken into account in this way.

Inventory and outlook

The present reporting and indicator system allows an initial inventory of the quality of life in Germany. On this basis, it will be possible in the future to identify the need for political action and develop effective measures to maintain and improve the quality of life in Germany. This is a task for the next few years.

Continuation of the discussion about quality of life in Germany

The selection and focus of the fields of action and measures to be dealt with also depends on the political and social discussion about “what is important to us”. The report aims to stimulate public discourse and align the political debate more closely with the citizens' perspective. It is their understanding of quality of life that is central here. If in the future the political discussion is conducted more strongly than before from the point of view and the reality of life of the citizens, then the report has already achieved an important goal.

The aim of the Federal Government is to improve the quality of life in Germany with the help of this reporting and indicator system within the scope of its competencies and political possibilities. However, the citizens' dialogue also made it clear: Quality of life in Germany is one task for society as a whole. A high level of quality of life and the preservation of quality of life for future generations also require the cooperation of citizens, social groups, business, culture and politics. The indicator system can give all social forces helpful orientation for this.