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OECD Report Sees Progress in Russian Quality of Life

Russia has "made progress" in improving the quality of life of its citizens over the last decade, though the country's scores in some areas are lower than the international average, a new study by an international economic organization says.

The average Russian household net-adjusted disposable income is about $15,300 a year, according to the Better Life Index compiled by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, which comprises 34 developed and developing economies. That income figure is less than the OECD average of $23,000, and there is a "considerable gap between the richest and poorest," with the top 20 percent of the population earning nine times as much as the bottom 20 percent ($4,200).

Most Russians (68 percent) have a paid job, slightly above the OECD employment average of 66 percent, the Paris-based organization says, and the percentage of those unemployed for a year or longer is now at nearly 2.2 percent, lower than the OECD average of 3.1 percent.

In terms of education, most Russians (91 percent) have the equivalent of a high school diploma, higher than the OECD average of 74 percent. However, the study says in terms of the quality of the educational system, the average Russian student scored 469 in reading literacy, math and science under the OECD's assessment program, lower than the average of 497.

In general, Russians are less satisfied with their lives than the OECD average, with 74 percent saying they usually have more positive experiences in an average day than negative ones, lower than the OECD average of 80 percent. Just 46 percent said they feel safe walking alone at night, compared to the OECD average of 67 percent, the study says.

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