How much time you spend with each life is up to you. You can simply let the simulator run it's course, and just deal with the pop up boxes as they came, and occasionally investing and modifying finances. Or you can seek out romance yourself, relocate, look for a new job, or go to school without being prompted. Not all countries have the same opportunities, especially educational. Depending on your style, you can spend about an hour with each life.
Political, society, and health details are provided about the country as a whole. By browsing through the sections, you can see how your family and lifestyle compares to the rest of the country. Links with pictures, news, travel, and religion will take you to the Internet so you can learn factual information about your new country.
While information about the nation as a whole is interesting, I found the details of the family the most enlightening.