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Subjective Well Being

This section gives information on self-reported perceptions of own welfare by the Timorese population. It covers different aspects of subjectively-assessed well-being including perceived adequacy of household income, satisfaction of basic needs, food security and a comparison with the household’s living conditions in 2001.

The basic needs dimension relates to the adequacy over the past month of the household’s food consumption, and the household’s situation with respect to housing, clothing, health and children’s education.

The tabulations on food security present evidence, in terms of the households’ own assessment, on the number of months over the previous year the households experience low overall food consumption or inadequate consumption of staples (rice or maize). Evidence is also presented on various strategies that household resort to in coping with the inadequate availability of food.

These assessments of subjective well-being reveal important information on how households perceive the state of their own living conditions.  They are however conceptually different to “objective” measures of poverty and human development that are based on the measurement of observable indicators such as household consumption, educational attainment or specific health outcomes. In particular, self-assessments are influenced by the conditions of other households that the household may compare itself with, or by the household’s own situation in the past.