Quality of life and public services

22 July 2020

Quality of life is a broad concept covering a number of different dimensions. It encompasses both objective factors such as health, work status and living conditions, as well as the subjective assessments of an individual’s life situation and perception of quality of society.Read more

Quality of life is a broad concept covering a number of different dimensions. It encompasses both objective factors such as health, work status and living conditions, as well as the subjective assessments of an individual’s life situation and perception of quality of society. The accessibility and quality of public services are important determinants of quality of life. These services, including health and care services, education and housing, underpin social protection, cohesion and inclusion and are also closely linked to levels of trust in government and institutions. 

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    EU context

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    In this context, today’s policymakers face critical challenges, including the impact of the financial crisis, an ageing demographic, internal EU mobility and migration.Read more

    In this context, today’s policymakers face critical challenges, including the impact of the financial crisis, an ageing demographic, internal EU mobility and migration. The European platform against poverty and social exclusion is a flagship initiative of the Commission’s Europe 2020 strategy, which set ambitious goals to reduce poverty. Social investment is also needed to support citizens to participate fully in social life and in employment. The Social Investment Package promotes more efficient and effective social policies, as well as better performing active inclusion strategies in the Member States. The Commission launched the European Pillar of Social Rights package in April 2017, which includes the principles and rights on access to and quality of public services in relation to equal opportunities and social protection and inclusion.

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    Research

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    Over the last four decades, Eurofound has researched and analysed many of these issRead more

    Over the last four decades, Eurofound has researched and analysed many of these issues. It has gathered data from across Europe on a range of dimensions of quality of life – living standards, health, subjective well-being, family, social exclusion, care and work–life balance, housing and living environment, public services and quality of society.

    European Quality of Life Survey

    Eurofound’s European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS) has gathered harmonised and fully comparable data on the living conditions and quality of life of Europeans and people in candidate countries since 2003. The four waves of the survey to date provide comprehensive information on the evolution of quality of life of various socioeconomic groups.

    Analysis of the third wave (2012) provides an overview of the impacts of the crisis at that time, as well as knowledge of trends in quality of life since 2003. The findings offer additional insights into particular aspects such as subjective well-being or social inequalities, and issues facing particular groups like young people or workers over 50.

    Separate research projects, as well as analyses from the EQLS, have been the basis of Eurofound reports on a range of related issues, including early childhood education and care, inadequate housing and how partial retirement may help extend working lives.

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    Key outputs over the years

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    Publications & data

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    The sections below provide access to a range of publications, data and ongoing work on this topic.

    • Publications (404)
    • Data
    • Ongoing work (6)

    Eurofound publications come in a variety of formats, including reports, policy briefs, blogs, articles and presentations. 

    Data

    A selection of related data on this topic are linked below. 

    Ongoing work

    Research continues in this topic on a variety of themes, which are outlined below with links to forthcoming titles. 

     

    Other ongoing work

    • Exploring wealth and transmission of (dis-)advantage in the context of social mobility, with the possibility to inform policymakers about equality of opportunity and fairness in society 
    • Mapping developments in advisory for household debt in EU countries as well as identifying barriers to access these services to combat poverty and assessing take-up
    • Analysing differences and inequalities in access to social services of general interest in the EU and assessing the nature and extent of convergence/divergence

     

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