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Standard of living is the level of comfort, material goods, and necessities available[clarification needed] to a person or group. For the purposes of economics, politics and policy, it is usually compared across time or between groups defined by social, economic or geographical parameters. Standard of living includes factors as a whole quality and availability of employment, class disparity, poverty rate, quality and housing affordability, hours of work are required to purchase necessities, gross domestic product, inflation rate, amount of leisure time, access to and quality of healthcare, quality and availability of education, literacy rates, life expectancy, occurrence of diseases, cost of goods and services, infrastructure, access to, quality and affordability of public transportation, national economic growth, economic and political stability, freedom, environmental quality, climate and safety. Standard of living is closely related to quality of life.
Standard of living is generally measured by standards such as inflation adjusted income per person and poverty rate. Other measures such as access and quality of health care, income growth inequality, and educational standards are also used. Examples are access to certain goods (such as number of refrigerators per 1000 people), or measurement of health such as life expectancy. It is the ease by which people living in a time or place are able to satisfy their needs and/or wants.
The idea of a 'standard' may be contrasted with the quality of life, which takes into account not only the material standard of living, but also other more intangible aspects that make up human life, such as leisure, safety, cultural resources, social life, physical health, environmental quality issues. More complex means of measuring well-being must be employed to make such judgments, and these are very often political and controversial. Even between two nations or societies that have similar material standards of living, quality of life factors may make one of these places more attractive to a given person or group.