European Quality of Life Survey 2007

Full overview report now available

Eurofound’s second European quality of life survey (EQLS), which was carried out in 2007, offers a wide-ranging view of the diverse social realities in the 27 Member States, as well as covering Norway and the candidate countries of Turkey, Macedonia and Croatia.

Many of the questions asked in the first EQLS in 2003 were asked again, on such issues as employment, income, education, housing, family, health, work–life balance, life satisfaction and perceived quality of society. Being in possession of two sets of data will allow the research team to gauge how people’s lives have changed in the intervening years.

Data from EQLS and other complementary sources also feed the Eurofound’s electronic database of statistical quality of life indicators (EurLIFE).

Overview of results

  • Europeans are generally satisfied and happy with life: on a scale from one to ten, the EU27 average is 7 for life satisfaction and 7.5 for happiness;
  • Disparities in household incomes across Europe are stark: in the EU27, Bulgaria and Romania have incomes almost as low as that of the candidate country, FYR Macedonia; to cope with inadequate income, around half of all households in the NMS12 and CC3 (with the exception of Cyprus and Malta) grow some of their own food;
  • The family is highly involved in child- and eldercare and remains the first port of call for personal support in emergencies; Europeans report high levels of satisfaction with their family life; women still spend more time than men in caring activities and domestic duties;
  • A good work-life balance is tricky to achieve and problems with it appear to be most common in south-eastern Europe: in Croatia and Greece, a little over 70% of working citizens say that they are too tired to do household jobs at least several times a month because of work;
  • 81% of EU residents said that good health was ‘very important’ for their quality of life: however, on average, only 21% of people rate their health as ‘very good’;
  • When asked to rate the quality of society, people in the eastern European NMS12 – and in Italy and Portugal – trust their political institutions the least. Citizens in the Nordic countries, and in Turkey, have the most trust in their institutions; people in the Nordic countries and the Netherlands also express the highest levels of trust in other people.