Better quality of life is a reality for most Europeans, shows new survey

  • environment

Europeans are increasingly satisfied with their lives, despite worries about polluted air, housing, prices and sustainability of pensions, a new Eurofound survey reveals. Released on 7 December, the European Quality of Life Survey noted positive trends in people’s outlooks and future of EU

Overall, the quality of life in the EU has progressed from 2011 to 2016 and life satisfaction has remained high (the average in 2016 was 7.1 on a scale of 1 to 10). However, there are big differences in quality of life between countries.

Quality of society has generally improved, shown by a decline in feelings of social exclusion, an increase in participation in clubs, societies or associations, and increased trust in national institutions. Young people (18–24 years) registered the highest increase in trust in other people. Perceptions of tension between poor and rich people, employers and employees, old and young people, have decreased.

The quality of public services has also increased, on average according to ratings by users. For example, satisfaction with healthcare and childcare improved in several countries where ratings were previously low.

When it comes to the concerns most people have, these relate to housing, pensions and air quality. There is a decrease in certainty about being able to retain one’s accommodation, and substantial concern about having insufficient income in one’s old age in two-thirds of member states – with 13% of people in the EU extremely worried about this. In urban neighbourhoods, more people have become concerned about air quality. With regard to neighbourhood services, inadequate access to recycling facilities is among the issues highlighted, while access to banking in rural areas is a problem in some countries.

Data from this survey can serve to complement the social indicators to monitor the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.

More information about the European Quality of Life Survey here:

EUROCITIES staff contact

Bianca Faragau-Tavares