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Table 2 Measurements and descriptive statistics for the variables analyzed

From: Social cohesion matters in health

Dimensions Indicators Questions and items Operation definition Mean Min, max Percentage Data source
Country-level (N = 29)       
Social and political attitudes        
Liberty aspiration If you had to choose, which one would you say is most important? And which would be the next important? Respondents’ priorities were “giving people more say in important government decisions” and “protecting freedom of speech”. Assigning 3 points for both items on first and second rank, 2 points for one of these items on first rank, 1 point for one of these items on second rank, and 0 for none of these items on first or second rank. The mean of the aggregate score was computed. 1.34 0.71, 1.92 --- WVS/EVS
1. Maintaining order in the nation
2. Giving people more say in important government decisions
3. Fighting rising prices
4. Protecting freedom of speech
Democratic attitude Could you please tell me if you agree with the following items at a 4-point scale? The index was created by adding up the four items. The higher the value, the more-positive attitude toward democracy. The direction of item 1, 2, and 3 were reversed. Mean of the sum of scores of these four items was computed. 11.49 9.82, 12.71 --- WVS/EVS
1. In democracy, the economic system runs badly
2. Democracies are indecisive and have too much quibbling
3. Democracies aren’t good at maintaining order
4. Democracy may have problems but it’s better than any other form of government
Value diversity Please tell me whether you think it can always be justified, never be justified or something in between along a 10-point scale. The sum of the standard deviation of each statement was calculated 14.21 11.92, 16.69 --- WVS/EVS
1. Homosexuality
2. Abortion
3. Divorce
4. Euthanasia
  5. Suicide
Social exclusion Ethnic tolerance Could you please sort out any that you would not like to have as neighbors? The percentage of not mentioning immigrants 79.04 6.21, 97.40 --- WVS/EVS
Immigrant percentage   The percentage of immigrants by total population 10.37 1.30, 39.40 --- OECD, ADB
Equal opportunities Gender employment ratio   Female to male employment ratio 0.76 0.56, 0.94 --- OECD, ADB
Gender wage gap   The difference between male and female earnings expressed as a percentage of male earnings 18.47 7.10, 40.40 --- OECD, ADB
Social expenditure   Percentage of GDP 19.96 5.26, 30.10 --- OECD, ADB
Health expenditure   Percentage of GDP 7.48 4.89, 13.00 --- OECD, ADB
Physician density   Number of physicians per 1,000 people 2.71 1.16, 4.23 --- OECD, ADB
Education expenditure   Percentage of GDP 5.23 2.80, 8.10 --- WDI, ADB
Government responsibility How would you place your views on this scale? The percentage of people who placed their view as ≤ 5 was determined 56.52 13.92, 79.25 --- WVS/EVS
The government should take more responsibility to ensure that everyone is provided for versus people should take the responsibility to provide for themselves.
The responses exhibited a range from 1–10, with 1 being “government should take more responsibility” and 10 being “people should take more responsibility”.
Regional disparity Gini index × 100   Gini coefficients of family income 31.67 22.50, 52.50 --- WDI, ADB
Availability of social relations Association membership   Percentage of people who had joined at least one among a list of 15 voluntary organizations 60.04 14.37, 95.66 --- WVS/EVS
Quality of social relations Social trust Generally speaking, would you say that most people can be trusted or that you need to be very careful in dealing with people? Percentage of people reporting 1 36.73 12.30, 66.53   WVS/EVS
1. Most people can be trusted
2. Need to be very careful
Quality of social institutions Trust in civil service How much confidence you have in the civil service? A great deal, quite a lot, not very much, or none at all Percentage of “a great deal” and “quite a lot” 44.42 14.34, 66.58 --- WVS/EVS
Individual-level (N = 47,923)       
  Self-rated health (good health)   Fair and bad health (reference) vs. good and very good health --- --- 68.43 WVS, EVS
  Gender (men)   Women (reference) vs. men --- --- 46.97 WVS, EVS
  Age   Age in years 45.96 14, 110 --- WVS, EVS
  Educational level   Primary education (reference) --- --- 27.71 WVS, EVS
Upper secondary education 52.06
Tertiary education    20.23
  Income   Lower tertile (reference) --- --- 26.19 WVS, EVS
Middle tertile 35.54
    Upper tertile    38.27  
  1. ADB, Asian Development Bank; EVS, European Value Survey; OECD, Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development; WDI, World Development Indicators; WVS, World Value Survey.