Communiqué, issue 4, 2004


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Citizens in the former EU15 have higher life satisfaction levels than reported in the new Member States and the three candidate countries.

The exceptions include Portugal on the one hand and Cyprus and Malta on the other. People in the Nordic countries report the highest levels of satisfaction. Throughout the EU25, unemployment greatly diminishes life satisfaction.

On average, 64% of Europeans are optimistic about the future, although there are big gaps between countries. There is a marked tendency for people in urban areas to be more optimistic than those in rural areas.

Life satisfaction levels across Europe

Life satisfaction levels across Europe

Mean life satisfaction on a scale from 1 ‘very dissatisfied’ to 10 ‘very satisfied’

See larger map

Source: EQLS, European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, 2004

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