The EQLS examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general.
The main objectives of the survey are to:
- identify groups at risk and issues of concern as well as of progress
- monitor trends by providing homogeneous indicators on these issues
- contribute to European policy development on living conditions
How is the survey carried out?
The EQLS is a representative, questionnaire-based interview survey that covers the adult population (18+ years).
Focus of the survey
The EQLS covers life domains that correspond to a wide range of policy areas and programmes carried out by European institutions. Many of those policies address a range of issues affecting quality of life, quality of society and quality of public services. These include employment, income, education, housing, family, health and work–life balance. The survey also looks at subjective topics, such as people’s levels of happiness, how satisfied they are with their lives and how they perceive the quality of their societies and public services. This multi-dimensional approach to quality of life has remained robust through the survey editions, even if topics and indicators have expanded over time to reflect emerging policy themes. By running the survey regularly, it has also become possible to track key trends in the quality of people's lives over time.
Scope of survey
In view of the prospective European enlargements and interest from the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries, the geographical coverage of the EQLS has expanded over time. The timeline below lists the countries covered in the various editions of the survey.
In addition, a number of questions from the EQLS 2007–2008 were asked as part of a Eurobarometer survey in 2009 which allowed for the study of Trends in quality of life in the EU: 2003-2009.