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80% of Europeans broadly ‘happy’ with life

Mar 20, 2015 | News

(20 March 2015) – On the occasion of the International Day of Happiness on 20 March 2015, Eurostat publishes a selection of subjective indicators on well-being of people in Europe.

“Overall, how satisfied are you with your life these days?” people across the European Union were asked. Life satisfaction has a prominent role as it can be regarded as a key indicator of subjective well-being.

In 2013, mean life satisfaction, measured on a scale of 0 to 10, varied significantly between EU Member States. With an overall average of 8.0, inhabitants in Denmark, Finland and Sweden were the most satisfied with their lives in the EU, followed by those in the Netherlands and Austria (both 7.8). At the opposite end of the scale, residents in Bulgaria (4.8) were by far the least satisfied, followed by those in Greece, Cyprus, Hungary and Portugal (all 6.2).

Life satisfaction was highest in 2013 among young people (an average of 7.6/10 among the EU population aged 16-24), and lowest for elderly people (an average of 6.8/10 among the EU population aged 75 and over). Life satisfaction tends to decrease with rising age, with the exception of the age group 65-74, which is for most people the period right after retirement.

In 2013, the highest average rating of life satisfaction in the EU was to be found among the population reporting a very good health condition (7.9/10). Factors such as financial situation and social relations also appeared to be significant in influencing life satisfaction, albeit less so than health.

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