Saturday

22nd Sep 2018

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).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

Retired Danes happiest people in Europe

On the International Day of Happiness fresh statistics show that newly retired Danes are the happiest in Europe and young Greeks are happier now than one year ago.

Agenda

Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK

The EU will be watching closely how the political dynamics of Theresa May's Conservative party conference starting next week will influence Brexit negotiations. MEPs might also be forced to release their office expenses.

Agenda

Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK

The EU will be watching closely how the political dynamics of Theresa May's Conservative party conference starting next week will influence Brexit negotiations. MEPs might also be forced to release their office expenses.

Feature

Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit

Decisions in the EU are a complicated process of intense negotiations, quid pro quos and horse-trading, until an agreement can finally be reached. But that didn't happen in Salzburg.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  2. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia
  3. Sound of discord at 'Sound of Music' Salzburg summit
  4. Salzburg summit presses for bigger Frontex mandate
  5. UK's post-Brexit plan 'will not work', EU says
  6. Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU
  7. Libya keeps coast guards rejected by the EU
  8. EU divisions on menu at Salzburg dinner

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us