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European Quality of Life Survey

European Quality of Life Survey 2016

Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey provides a unique insight into the quality of life of Europeans today.

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Overall results from Eurofound’s fourth European Quality of Life Survey conducted in 2016 show general progress in the three keys areas of review: quality of life, quality of society and quality of public services – though not in all countries and not for all social groups.

Quality of life

This topic mainly covers subjective well-being, health and aspects of individual quality of life such as living conditions, housing, and material deprivation, but also work–life balance and care responsibilities.

Quality of life

General progress in quality of life with some dimensions back to pre-crisis levels

Main findings

  • Levels of optimism are up
  • Satisfaction with living standards has increased
  • Life satisfaction and happiness levels remain stable
  • Satisfaction with standard of living has converged across Member States
  • Material hardship has declined (more people can make ends meet), but over half of the population in 11 countries still report difficulties in making ends meet
  • Self-reported quality of health has improved overall
  • Work–life balance has deteriorated in some respects
  • Serious concerns about insufficient income in old age in two-thirds of countries
  • Average rating on scale 1-10, 2011
  • Average rating on scale 1-10, 2016
  • I am optimistic about my future (%) - 2016
  • I am optimistic about my children's/grandchildren's future (%) - 2016
  • At least several times a month (%) - 2007
  • At least several times a month (%) - 2016

Optimism

Work-life balance and care responsibilities

Quality of society

This topic includes social insecurity, perceptions of social tensions, social exclusion, trust in people and institutions, participation and community engagement.

Quality of society

General improvement in quality of society indicators

Main findings

  • Trust in national institutions has increased
  • Engagement and participation in social organisations are on the rise
  • Trust in people among 18–24 year-olds has increased
  • Feelings of social exclusion have declined
  • Perceived tensions between poor/rich, management/workers, old/young, men/women have decreased
  • But perception of tensions between religious and ethnic groups has risen slightly and, to a lesser extent, on the basis of sexual orientation
  • Perception of 'a lot' of tension (%) - 2007
  • Perception of 'a lot' of tension (%) - 2011
  • Perception of 'a lot' of tension (%) - 2016

Social exclusion

Quality of public services

This topic includes healthcare, long-term care, childcare and schools, as well as neighbourhood services. All the services asked about are understood as being services for the public, regardless of whether they are provided by the public, private or non-profit sector.

Quality of public services

Overall improvement in ratings of quality of public services

Main findings

  • Levels of satisfaction with several key public services, such as healthcare and public transport, have increased
  • Childcare improved in several countries where ratings were previously low
  • Access to recycling facilities is a new issue in a number of countries
  • Access to banking in rural areas is a problem in some countries.
  • Quality of public services still varies greatly across Member States

Quality of public services

  • Average rating on scale 1-10, 2011
  • Average rating on scale 1-10, 2016

European Quality of Life Survey 2016 - Executive summary
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About the European Quality of Life Survey: The survey was first launched in 2003 and has been carried out every four years since. The fourth edition of the survey took place in 2016 and covered 33 countries: the 28 EU Member States and the five candidate countries of Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey.

  1. 2003

    First European Quality of Life Survey

  2. 2007

    Second European Quality of Life Survey

  3. 2011

    Third European Quality of Life Survey

  4. 2016

    Fieldwork and data collection for the fourth European Quality of Life Survey

  5. 2017

    7 December

    Digital launch of European Quality of Life Survey 2016 results

  6. Forthcoming

    Publication of the European Quality of Life Survey 2016: Overview report

  7. 2018

    March

    European Quality of Life Survey debate in Brussels

  8. 2018

    Secondary analyses on the following topics:

    Trust in institutions in the 21st century, Social cohesion and well-being in Europe, Quality of public services, Intergenerational differences in quality of life