Difference Between Standard of Living and Quality of Life

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: May 14, 2023


Difference Between Standard of Living and Quality of Life

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A human being is the only living animal that endured all odds. Humans not only survive but they also live their lives. They have advanced to the stage whereby they not only live for the sake of living, but they are also working hard to accomplish an adequate standard of living and quality of life. Both living standards and quality of life have become essential components of human life. Even though quality counts more in this case because life can't be quantified, the standard of living has to be taken into consideration.

Standard of living vs. Quality of life

The amount of money invested is the primary criterion distinguishing the two concepts of the standard of living and quality of life. It's feasible to have a brief inkling of uncertainty and assume that they are one and the same. Although they are not, in fact. They do an excellent job of containing their divergent opinions. While the other comprises quality components, the first has a connection to luxury.

Difference between the standard of living and quality of life in Tabular form

Parameters of comparisonStandard of LivingQuality of life
MeaningThe standard of living means having a luxurious life.Quality of life means to have a life enriched with happiness
NatureNature is tangibleNature is intangible which means it can only be felt not touched.
IndicatorsIndicators for the standard of living can be income, property, GDP, etc.Indicators are birth rate, death rate, infant mortality rate, etc.
Measurement  The standard of living can be measured in terms of money and wealth.Quality of life cannot be measured in terms of monetary wealth.
NecessityThe standard of living only comes if our necessities are fulfilled.Quality of life is a human right that everyone should have.

What is the standard of living?

There can be no doubt that every single person is breathing. But are every individual experiencing similar lives throughout history? We must initially be aware of the standard. And how are we connecting it to the real world? Food, clothing, and shelter are regarded as the three most important necessities for mankind. When these essential requirements are satisfied, a person develops greater desires. Basic human nature dictates that.  Let’s take an example: when an individual has a good job and can bear all his living expenses and even have savings. He has a decent house but he wants a modern house with well -furnished kitchen and flooring. So he is looking for a high-end job with more salary and other related incentives. This desire of achieving more rather than the basic is called the standard. People tend to work hard in the hope of maintaining a standard in their life. It has become a trend. People tend to do all sorts of activities to have a standard in their life. Some work hard to have the luxuries of life while others perform ill practices to have a luxurious life.

Several factors can determine the standard of living which are as follows:

  • Income
  • Access to necessities
  • Number of vacations
  • Lifestyle
  • Clothes


The standard of living is significantly affected by income. In juxtaposition to someone who has nothing in the way of income or barely any revenue, a person having a good income is bound to appreciate a good level of living.

 Access to  basic necessities

The necessities include healthcare facilities, a clean environment, good drinking water, etc. But whosoever has attained a high standard of living cannot have satisfaction in just basic things. They access the necessities of life in different ways. For them, everything is calculated in monetary terms and the facilities which involve high money value are good.

Number of vacations

There are no stated facts about how much vacation a person should have in a year. It’s up to one’s desire and willingness to travel. Money plays a vital role in travel. If you have a good amount of money and time in your hand you can have as many vacations as you want. So clearly the number of vacations defines a person’s standard of living. If an individual is having international vacations that also determine their standard of living. Middle-class families cannot afford international vacations every year. It’s like a dream for them to travel abroad.


The terms "standard of living" and "lifestyle" are frequently conflated. They are, so to speak, two distinct sides of the same coin. A lifestyle is an integral part of one's standard of living, meaning it's a broad concept.

Consider someone who has access to a variety of amenities, such as a 4-bedroom flat, a prestigious career, a luxury vehicle, Michelin-starred cuisine, etc. It's a pricey way of life that not everyone can afford. It's a way of life that people only get to witness in movies but that they long for. But some people embrace this way of life.


Clothing is a basic necessity of mankind but it has been converted into a fashion and a trend resulting in the standard of people. There are many big brands such as Channel, dior, mango, H&M, etc. Access to these brands is considered a great sort of deal. These are never dying clothing brands whose craze is not going to die sooner. They use creative marketing techniques to attract their customers. Their regular customers are people from the high class. They sell their name to reflect the standard of living of their customers.

 Other than the above-mentioned points there is one more thing. The standard of living can be different for different people. For example, if a person can afford costly things, and luxurious items that means it’s his standard that he can afford all these things in his life. It’s the standard that he has achieved in his lifetime. While on the other hand the person who cannot afford all these things. Such as the middle-class family who wants to have all the things that the other person is having but cannot afford them. That is his standard. But he can surely improve his standard to have the desired standard of living. It only measured the wealth that a person has i.e. only the quantitative aspect is considered.

What is the quality of life?

As per the definition issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) quality of life is defined as an individual perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and concerning their goals, expectations, standards, and concerns.

In simple terms, it can be said that it is a qualitative aspect of life which includes factors such as family values, human relations, friendship, etc. Monetary value is involved but up to some certain level. Money cannot buy quality in life. People can have tons of money but they still can be unhappy while on the other hand are people who lack money but are still happy with their lives. All of it depends on the people we surround ourselves with. It includes various aspects of human life. Quality of life cannot be measured in terms of money but surely it can be measured in other terms such as life expectancy, birth rate, healthcare facilities, cleanliness, etc.

The maintenance of the standard of living depends greatly on cleanliness. Hygiene has a connection to cleanliness, and cleanliness is linked to life quality. The "Swachh Bharat Mission" was introduced by India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 to improve living conditions. The campaign featured numerous notable figures and celebrities. The noble virtue of cleanliness was demonstrated through this mission. To safeguard the health of their loved ones, it is the civic responsibility of every Indian citizen to keep his or her surroundings clean and hygienic.

Other than cleanliness there is one more factor that is of equal importance as maintaining personal hygiene and cleanliness. This factor is an environmental factor. Our environment plays a significant role in maintaining our quality of life. We have often heard people saying that the quality of life is very good in mountain regions. The air, water, food, and vegetation are very pure and good in this region. That’s why people prefer to spend their leisure time in the lap of mountains. Mountain regions attract a large number of tourists every year which results in increasing tourism leading to increased GDP of the economy.

As a result, it is of the utmost importance to seek out things that are going to help us in improving the quality of our lives, and we should always strive to retain that quality. A lot of medical issues can be prevented by enhancing our quality of life. It instills an awareness of newness in our daily lives, which aids in the improvement of our mental processes. We should be grateful for what we have and strive for a better quality of life.

There are three types of quality of life which are as follows:

  • Physical health
  • Mental health
  • Social health

Physical health

Physical health is related to the health of our body. If we are physically fit and fine only then we can be truly happy and enjoy life. If we are suffering from diseases and injecting medicines that are not the quality of life. Our health should be our priority. For this purpose, we should take good care of our body such as by eating healthy food, regularly doing exercise, and by drinking clean water.

Mental health

In earlier times, people don't believe in the concept of mental health. Mental health is concerned with the emotional well-being of an individual. But gradually with time, they understand how much important it is to take care of mental health along with our physical health. Depression, anxiety, and fear are some examples of bad mental health. Sometimes past experiences can lead to trauma which results in bad mental health. People are more attentive toward their mental health. Awareness is being created regarding mental health so that more and more people can be aware. Mental well-being can be helped if identified in earlier stages. Many therapists can help in dealing with mental illness.

Social health

Humans are social animals, and as we all know, they are unable to survive alone. The persons we interact with every day or frequently need to be treated with respect. An enormously significant factor in this is neighborhood. The area around you might not be an appealing location for some, but if you're blessed with good neighbors, you are truly fortunate. There are some instances when a family cannot be present. Therefore, we should maintain strong relationships with people outside of our family as well as within it.

Difference between the standard of living and quality of life in points

  • The standard of living is tangible while the quality of life is not tangible i.e. we cannot see or touch the quality of life it can only be felt.
  • The standard of living can be measured in terms of money or by how much wealth a person holds while the quality of life cannot be valued in money. It is measured in terms of happiness and the feeling of closeness with loved ones in life.
  • GDP growth, luxury lifestyle, branded shoes, and clothes are some of the components of the standard of living whereas life expectancy, birth rate, infant mortality rate, and healthcare facilities are components of quality of life.
  • The standard of living is not the necessity of life but the desire of human beings and it only comes when our basic needs are fulfilled. Whereas quality of life is the need and basic human right to have a good quality of life.


Finally, in light of everything that has already been mentioned so far, it seems reasonable to conclude that both living standards and quality of life are essential components of human life. A person ought to prioritize his or her quality of life first, and then think about improving his or her standard of living. Because once the quality of living has raised, it will be inconceivable to lower it, regardless of the circumstances are adverse. However, the quality of life cannot be whittled down; if it is, it will adversely affect so many things on so many different levels. As an outcome, to lead an enjoyable life, everyone must strike the right kind of equilibrium.


  • https://www.who.in


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"Difference Between Standard of Living and Quality of Life." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 10 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-standard-of-living-and-quality-1343>.

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