This report provides an analysis of European societies in terms of social cohesion – in particular, social tensions, perceived social exclusion and community engagement are explored as key dimensions. It analyses the links between societal characteristics (quality of society) and well-being of different social groups. The analysis looks at how perceived levels of societal tensions have changed in European societies over time (2003–2016). It also examines which dimensions of social cohesion are most important for individual well-being. The report is based on data from Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey 2016, the fourth survey since 2003.
Social cohesion implies a sense of togetherness, resilience and orientation towards the common good. There is evidence that living in a cohesive society has a positive impact on subjective well-being, helping to improve the lives of citizens. The well-being of countries and individuals has been increasingly recognised as a societal asset and as an important benchmark for evaluating human progress. Against this background, the present report uses five research questions to assess the current level of social cohesion in the EU, its change over time, risk groups and main drivers, as well as the extent to which it relates to subjective well-being.
Carried out every four years, this unique, pan-European European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) examines both the objective circumstances of European citizens' lives and how they feel about those circumstances and their lives in general. This series consists of outputs from the 2016 edition of the EQLS.
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