Wednesday

22nd Feb 2017

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.

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.

French police raid Le Pen's party office

Officers raid the National Front headquarters near Paris over allegations that leader Marine Le Pen used fake EU parliament contracts to pay her personal staff.

News in Brief

  1. Romanian parliament buries controversial corruption decree
  2. Dozens drown off Libyan coast
  3. EU ministers approve anti-tax avoidance directive
  4. Poland rejects EU criticism of court changes
  5. German nationalist leader met with Putin allies in Moscow
  6. German housing market overheated, says Bundesbank
  7. France invites three EU leaders for Versailles summit in March
  8. Greece agrees on new bailout reforms

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  2. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  3. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen
  4. Malta EU 2017End of Roaming Fees: Council Reaches Agreement on Wholesale Caps
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Innovation House Opens in New York to Help Startups Access US Market
  6. Centre Maurits CoppietersMinorities and Migrations
  7. Salzburg Global SeminarThe Child in the City: Health, Parks and Play
  8. UNICEFNumber of Ukrainian Children Needing Aid Nearly Doubles to 1 Million Over the Past Year
  9. Centre Maurits CoppietersThe Situation of Refugee Women in Europe
  10. Salzburg Global SeminarToward a Shared Culture of Health: Charting the Patient-Clinician Relationship
  11. European Free AllianceAustria Should Preserve & Promote Bilingual and Multinational Carinthia
  12. Martens CentreShow Your Love for Democracy! Take Part in Our Contest: "If It's Broken, Let's Fix It"

Latest News

  1. Should Europeans spend more on defence?
  2. Dieselgate: EU disappointed with VW's treatment of customers
  3. French police raid Le Pen's party office
  4. The Armenia-Azerbaijan war: A refugee's story
  5. Greece and creditors break bailout deadlock
  6. Internal EU report exposes Libya turmoil
  7. EU commissioner condemns 'delay' in post-Dieselgate reform
  8. Sweden fights back as foreign leaders make up bad news