Quality of Life (QoL) - Context Quality of Life (QoL) - Context

Why?

In a context where macroeconomic conditions are again taking central stage in the public debate, it is important not to forget longer term issues such as improving people's well-being and preserving our social and natural environment. In order to measure the population's well-being, indicators by various dimensions that contribute to people's quality of life and using the EU-SILC survey as core data source have been (and are still being) developed.

The following priority areas for future work were identified by the Task Force 3 "Multidimensional measurement of the quality of life" of the 'Sponsorship Group on measuring progress, well-being and sustainable development' (SpG):

  • use EU Statistics on Income and Living Conditions as the core instrument
  • complement the coverage of the dimensions with additional data sources
  • deepen and improve analysis.

What is new on measurement?

  • A first set of QoL indicators, building mainly on existing data in the ESS, was published on the Eurostat QoL dedicated website in May 2013.
    The "Stiglitz/Sen/Fitoussi" Commission recommended in particular developing QoL indicators covering multidimensional measures of people's conditions that contribute to their life satisfaction. Therefore, an Expert Group was set up in early 2012, representing producers, users and other stakeholders.

    The Expert Group met eight times over the years 2012-2015. A final, comprehensive framework alongside a first set of quality of life indicators has been developed and headline indicators chosen.

    The final report of the Expert Group was endorsed by the Directors of Social Statistics in October 2016. This document concentrates on the framework of quality of life indicators and main recommendations on the future work in this area of statistics; it provides as well information about the initiatives on quality of life indicators existing at national and international level. It was published as "Statistical report" in early 2017 (please see on the right side of the page).

  • An ad-hoc module on subjective well-being was implemented in the EU-SILC 2013 and the results were published in June 2015. This module contains subjective questions (e.g. How satisfied are you with your life these days?) which complement the mostly objective indicators from existing data collections and social surveys.

What is next?

Some of the variables from the 2013 EU-SILC module on subjective well-being will be included in the EU-SILC instrument and collected on an annual basis and via rolling modules (3- or 6-yearly).