Uk standard of living

a) explain how the standard of living in the UK could be measured (10)
The standard of living in the UK can be measured in a number of different ways, considering many different variables, and producing a variety of different results.
Real income per capita is one of the most commonly used methods of measuring living standards. It is found by dividing the real GDP by the total population of the country and provides an average income for the country. In order for it to provide an affective method of measuring living standards and demonstrating any trends in the UK, i.e. an increase in standards, the real income per capita would need to be calculated over a number of years and the real incomes of other countries should also be calculated in order to have a basis with which to compare the UK. However, real income per capita is not considered the best method of measuring living standards as it simply takes into account monetary earnings, and living standards are much more than just income. Also it simply comes up with an average wage and does not take into account the distribution of the income, people at the low end could be living in absolute poverty whilst those at the top live in total luxury but it would balance to a good, fair wage level.
The MEW (Measurable Economic Welfare) takes the problem of other factors apart from simply wages into account and so can be seen as a very efficient way of measuring living standards. The MEW takes the real GDP figures and then adjusts them by adding a value for leisure and positive externalities and deducting a value for negative aspects such as defence spending and the cost of police services. Although taking other factors into account makes the MEW a good indicator again it only considers an average, not a person by person view.
The unemployment rate can also demonstrate living standards. Currently the UK unemployment rate is 2.9%. This is a very low figure and low unemployment can b


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