The EU office of statistics Eurostat studied the level of life satisfaction and subjective well-being among the people of EU Member States. The poll is based on the 2018 study, though Slovakia, Ireland and Great Britain failed to provide data to several questions, and two non-EU states, Switzerland and Norway, were included. A similar study was conducted five years earlier, in 2013, and its results are comparable with the new one. We can generally observe that the overall level of satisfaction has risen with regards to people’s financial situation, job, personal and social relations.
In 2018, the average satisfaction level in the Union was 7.3. Respondents gave scores of 0 to 10 points, with 0 for “not satisfied at all” and 10 for “fully satisfied”. The highest subjective well-being was measured in Austria, Finland, Norway and Switzerland, with values approaching or exceeding 8 points. The lowest score was produced in Bulgaria, where popular life satisfaction was estimated at 5.4. Lower-than-average scores were also recorded for Hungary, Croatia, Lithuania, Latvia and Portugal. The Hungarian score was far below the EU average, at 6.5.
Surveyors classified satisfaction levels into three groups: low (0-5), medium (6-8) and high (9-10). In 2018, the satisfaction score for 54% of the Bulgarian population was low, a far greater ratio of dissatisfaction than any other Member State, followed by Croatia with 36.8% and Lithuania with 36.2%. Bulgaria also counted the lowest ratio of highly satisfied individuals, merely 9.5%. Highly satisfied individuals also account for low proportions of the Hungarian and Greek population, 13.1% and 13.5% respectively.
On the other hand, ratios of high satisfaction are over 35% in Denmark (41.3%), Finland (41.1%), Austria, and Norway (39.7 %). Overall, the EU average is 16.5% for low life satisfaction, and 24.7% for high life satisfaction.
Compared to 2013, the overall EU average level of subjective well-being rose from 7 to 7.3 points. The greatest increase was found in Bulgaria and Cyprus, by 0.6, and 0.9 points respectively. During this time, the level fell slightly in Denmark, Holland and Sweden, with the greatest decrease of 0.3 points measured in Lithuania. Therefore, it can be said that between 2013 and 2018, the overall level of satisfaction increased in the EU.
If there was one Member State that stands out, it should be Cyprus. The island state has seen a 17% drop in low satisfaction, and 8% increase in high satisfaction.