Wednesday

4th May 2016

EU survey sees happy Danes, grumpy Bulgarians

  • Scandinavian countries are home to Europe's happiest people according to new research (Photo: quietdangst)

Scandinavians may be among Europe’s highest taxed, but they are also the happiest according to new research by the UK’s Office of National Statistics.

Nine out ten people in Denmark and Finland described themselves as being satisfied or happy with their life, compared to an EU average of 69 percent, in the Measuring National Well-being report published Wednesday (18 June).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

At the oner end of the scale, just 38 percent of Bulgarian citizens are satisfied with their lot in life.

Bulgarians also recorded the lowest levels of satisfaction with their family or social life, and were the least likely to take part in sports. A mere 12 percent of Bulgarians told surveys that they had done physical exercise or played sports in the previous week, six times fewer than sports-mad Finns.

It is a similar story when asked whether they felt their life was worthwhile.

Danes topped the chart again with 91 percent agreeing, tied with the Netherlands. At the other end, 48 percent of Greeks, whose country has the highest unemployment rate across the EU, disagreed with the statement.

The research brings together 41 separate measures of ‘well-being’, including health, personal wealth and employment, as well as personal surroundings and people’s comfort where they live.

It is based on data from Eurostat, the European Quality of Life Survey, Eurobarometer, the Programme for International Students Assessment and the World Gallup Poll.

However, the story is slightly different when it comes to personal health.

Maltese and Swedish people enjoy 72 and 71 years respectively of their life in excellent health, nearly twenty years longer than their counterparts in Estonia and Slovakia. The average EU citizen will live for 61 years in good health.

But a sense of community and safety at home is less strong in Europe’s wealthier north. Only 58 percent of Germans felt a bond or friendship with their neighbours, compared to 80 percent in Cyprus and Romania.

Meanwhile, fewer than 50 percent of Greeks and Lithuanians felt safe to walk alone in their home town at night.

Feature

Renzi's chance to act like a grown-up

With other EU states busy on internal issues, the Italian PM sees a chance to push his vision of Europe. Friday's Papal visit by EU leaders will showcase the new Renzi.

EU recovery to slow this year

On just 1.8 percent growth, the commission's forecast is less optimistic than before because of an instable global economy and lack of results of EU reforms.

News in Brief

  1. EU Commission proposes visa-free travel for Turkey
  2. Iceland in court for not respecting EU laws
  3. Sweden registers more asylum application withdrawals
  4. German Pegida leader convicted of inciting hatred
  5. ECB expected to stop printing €500 notes
  6. Spain dissolves parliament for 26 June election
  7. Germany to legalise cannabis for medicinal use
  8. Hungary to hold migrant quota referendum by October

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Centre Maurits CoppetiersBrexit Could Increase Support for Independence in Pro-EU Scotland
  2. European Music CouncilRegister Now for the 6th European Forum on Music in Wroclaw, European Capital of Culture 2016
  3. Belgrade Security ForumJoin Our Team for the 6th Belgrade Security Forum. Apply Now! Deadline May 20
  4. European Roundtable of IndustrialistsCompanies Make Progress on Number of Women in Leadership Roles
  5. Counter BalanceParliament Gets Tough on Control EU Bank's Funds
  6. ICRCSyria: Aleppo on the Brink of Humanitarian Disaster
  7. CESIWorld Day For Health and Safety at Work: Public Sector Workers in The Focus
  8. EFABasque Peace Process-Arnaldo Otegi Visits the European Parliament
  9. EscardioChina Pays Price of Western Lifestyle With Soaring Childhood Obesity
  10. Centre Maurits CoppetiersThe Existence of a State is a Question of Fact, Not a Question of Law
  11. ICRCSyria: Aid for Over 120,000 People Arrives in Besieged Town Near Homs