What determines life satisfaction and happiness? How do we value our social situation and immediate surroundings? How has this changed with the economic crisis? For the third wave of the European Quality of Life survey, 35,500 Europeans in all EU Member States were interviewed, in an effort to gain insights to these questions. This overview report presents findings and trends and shows that the impacts of the recession are indeed noticeable and measurable in some areas, while in others there are more long-term developments to be observed. While overall life satisfaction levels have not changed much, optimism about the future and trust in institutions have declined markedly in those countries most affected by the downturn. And groups that were already vulnerable – the long-term unemployed, older people in central and eastern Europe and single parents – report the highest levels of material deprivation and dissatisfaction with their life situation. An executive summary is available - see Related content.