Are people in European Union happy? How is their life quality?
First of all, there is a question, how to measure the quality of life. The OECD has a new way to rank the life quality in countries around the world. Called “The Better Life Index,” the new OECD data set ranks countries based on things like the employment situation, leisure time, and life expectancy.
The most important fact while speaking about the quality of life in the EU are the differences between countries. Surveys show that people from countries that entered the EU sooner have a better life standards. Maybe membership in EU is the factor that could influence the development of the country, but for sure the first countries that entered the EU were the big successful countries with strong economies as Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, …
The Eurofound stated an interesting survey about the European Quality of Life. It took place from the end of September 2011 to early February 2012 in the 27 European Union Member States. The results are shown in the video below.
The other interesting facts are provided in Numbeo database in survey of the life quality differences between the countries in the world. In the next picture you can see, that the European countries do pretty good comparing to the rest of the world except of the North America.
What about the European cities and their quality of life? The top spot has Vienna as the city with the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey. The rest of the top 10 for Europe are dominated by German and Swiss cities. Zurich is followed by Munich, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Geneva, Copenhagen and Bern. The lowest-ranking cities are Athens and Belfast.
The other important fact is, that the quality of life in EU went down in last years because of the global financial crises. Declines of over 20% in levels of optimism and happiness are reported in some countries across the EU and over a third of people indicate a deterioration in their financial situation over the past five years. Since the year 2007 more people who had good income and were in good quality housing are now struggling with unemployment, debts, housing insecurity and access to services. The countries with the biggest problems of changing the life quality to worse are Greece, Spain and Portugal, Bulgaria, Hungary,… People living in the Northern countries are still holding the better quality of life.
Authors: Veronika Müllerová, Matej Vician, Helena Wenzelová, Zsolt Farkas.