Hungarians are not the most satisfied bunch in the EU

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Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, has recently asked people across the bloc: “Overall, how satisfied are you with your life these days?”.
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Life satisfaction represents how a respondent evaluates his or her life taken as a whole. 

On a scale from 0 (“not satisfied at all”) to 10 (“fully satisfied”), the mean (average) life satisfaction of EU residents aged 16 and over was 7.3 in 2018, an increase compared with 7.0 in 2013.

Since 2013, the mean level of satisfaction with the financial situation of their own household in the EU alsoincreased, from 6.0 in 2013 to 6.5 in 2018, whilst the mean satisfaction with personal relations remained nearly stable, 7.8 in 2013 and 7.9 in 2018.

In 2018, the mean life satisfaction, measured on a scale of 0 to 10, varied significantly between EU Member States.

With an overall average of 8.1, inhabitants of Finland were the most satisfied with their lives in the EU, closely followed by those in Austria (8.0), Denmark, Poland and Sweden (all 7.8).

At the opposite end of the scale, residents in Bulgaria (5.4) were by far the least satisfied, followed by those in Croatia (6.3), Greece and Lithuania (both 6.4), Hungary (6.5), Latvia and Portugal (both 6.7).

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Largest increase in life satisfaction in Cyprus

Among Member States for which 2018 data are available, the mean life satisfaction increased since 2013 in 19 Member States. The highest increase was recorded in Cyprus (from 6.2 in 2013 to 7.1 in 2018, or +0.9), Bulgaria (+0.6), Czechia, Estonia, Poland and Portugal (all +0.5).

Compared with 2013, the mean life satisfaction remained unchanged in two Member States: Belgium and Croatia.

In contrast, a decrease was recorded in four Member States: Lithuania (from 6.7 in 2013 to 6.4 in 2018, or -0.3), Denmark (-0.2), and to a lower extent in the Netherlands and Sweden (both -0.1). 

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Highest satisfaction with financial situation in Denmark, Finland and Sweden

Mean satisfaction with the financial situation of the household varied significantly between EU Member States. With an average of 7.6, inhabitants of Denmark, Finland and Sweden were the most satisfied with the household financial situation. They were followed by those in the Netherlands (7.4), Austria (7.3), Belgium (7.0), Luxembourg (6.9), Germany and Malta (both 6.8).

At the opposite end of the scale, residents in Bulgaria (4.3) were by far the least satisfied, followed by those in Greece, Croatia and Lithuania (all 5.2), Latvia and Portugal (both 5.4), and Hungary (5.5).

In nearly all Member States for which 2018 data are available, the mean satisfaction with the financial situation increased compared with 2013, with the exception of Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands where it remained unchanged, and Lithuania where it decreased from 5.8 in 2013 to 5.2 in 2018 (-0.6).

The highest increases were recorded in Greece, Cyprus and Portugal (+0.9), Malta (+0.8), Czechia, Italy and Slovenia (all +0.7).

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Highest satisfaction with personal relationships in Malta, Austria and Slovenia

In 2018, the mean satisfaction with personal relationships varied significantly between EU Member States. With an overall average of 8.6, inhabitants of Malta, Austria and Slovenia were the most satisfied with their personal relationships in the EU. They were followed by those in Cyprus and Sweden (both 8.5), Finland (8.4) and Czechia (8.3).

At the opposite end of the scale, residents in Bulgaria (6.6) followed by those in Greece (7.1), Croatia (7.5), Italy, Hungary and Romania (all 7.6) were the least satisfied.

Among Member States for which 2018 data are available, the mean satisfaction with personal  relationships increased since 2013 in 18 Member States. The highest increases were recorded in Bulgaria (from 5.7 in 2013 to 6.6 in 2018, or +0.9), Cyprus (+0.5), Spain (+0.4), Estonia, Italy, Portugal and Slovenia (all +0.3).

Compared with 2013, the mean satisfaction with personal relationships remained unchanged in two Member States: Hungary and Romania, while a decrease was recorded in five Member States: Denmark, Latvia and the Netherlands (all -0.3), Lithuania and Luxembourg (both -0.2)

Cover photo by Getty Images/Eddie Gerald

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