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social well-being

  The degree to which a population\'s needs and wants are being met. A well society based on market exchange, for example, is one in which all people have sufficient income to meet their basic needs, where all are treated with equal dignity and have equal rights (cf. human rights), where they have reasonable access to their needed range of services, and where their opinions are heard and respected. The quality of a society can be measured by its success on variables reflecting such desiderata, as can variations within a society.

Mapping the geography of social well-being was taken up in the 1970s, as part of a general acceptance of the need for territorial social indicators with which to chart and understand spatial variations in the quality of life. (RJJ)

Suggested Reading Smith, D.M. 1973: A geography of social well-being in the United States. New York: McGraw-Hill.



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