Quality of Life

What percentage of people in the EU rates the quality of life in their region as good?

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Map of the quality of life in Europe.

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Quality of life can be described as an individual’s overall well-being and satisfaction with the various aspects of their life. It is a complex and subjective concept that can be measured in multiple ways. As it’s a subjective concept, it’s difficult to determine the quality of life based on hard data. Of the measurements based on hard data, the Human Development Index (HDI), is probably the one that comes closest. But it measures how developed an area is, not necessarily what the quality of life is. Based on hard data, some areas might have a high quality of life, but that doesn’t mean much if people don’t perceive it that way. The WHO even defines quality of life as “an individual’s perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns”. According to that definition, people’s perception should be valued much more than hard data in measuring an area’s quality of life. As quality of life is a subjective concept, the best way to measure people’s quality of life, is to simply ask them. That’s what this map is about.

This map shows us that in the vast majority of EU regions, people judge the quality of life as good. Especially in northern and western Europe more than 80 or even 90 percent of people consider the quality of life in their region to be good. In Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Luxembourg and Austria, it’s over 90% for every single region in the country.

The highest percentage can be found in Friesland in the Netherlands. Where 98.7% of people think the quality of life in Friesland is rather good or very good. In the Dutch provinces of Drenthe and Zeeland, the percentage is also over 98%. People in Åland (98.6%) and Southern Finland (98.5%) are close behind Friesland. The same goes for Carinthia in Austria (98.6%).

There are only four regions in the EU, where a minority of the population judges the quality of life as good. In Severozapaden in Bulgaria, only 38.1% thinks the quality of life is good in that region. By far the lowest percentage in Europe. Panonska in Croatia (43.3%), Észak-Magyarország in Hungary (44.7%) and South-west Oltenia in Romania (47.1%), are the only other regions where a minority of the population considers the quality of life in their region to be good.

The data for this map comes from the 2021 Autumn Eurobarometer on public opinion in the EU regions. People could judge the quality of life in their region as “Very good”, “Rather good”, “Rather bad” or “Very bad”. The map show the percentage of respondents that answered with either “Very good” or “Rather good”.

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