Labour market change

Recent developments in the state of the middle classes

Customised report
30 lokakuu 2019


This report maps developments in the size of the middle class in the EU between 2004 and 2015 using Eurostat’s SILC survey, and analyses life satisfaction by income quartile (using Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Surveys). Before the crisis, the middle classes had expanded in around two-thirds of Member States. The crisis resulted in a decline in the size of the middle class in most EU Member States between 2008 and 2013 – especially in some of the Member States hardest hit by the crisis. However, between 2013 and 2015, the size of the middle class expanded again in almost two-thirds of Member States. In terms of quality of life, the middle class experienced a consistent rise in life satisfaction between 2003 and 2011. However, post-2011, there was divergence – an increase in life satisfaction for the higher middle class and a decline in life satisfaction for the lower middle class.

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