EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) methodology - 2013 personal well-being indicators - Statistics Explained

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EU statistics on income and living conditions (EU-SILC) methodology - 2013 personal well-being indicators

This article is part of a set of articles describing the methodology applied for the computation of the statistical indicators pertinent to the subject area of 2013 - Personal well-being indicators (ilc_igt) within the overall domain of Income and living conditions. For these indicators, the article provides a methodological and practical framework of reference. The indicators relevant to the subject area of personal well-being are the following:

  • Rating of satisfaction by domain along with different dimensions
  • Rating of trust by domain along with different dimensions
  • Percentage of the population rating their satisfaction as high, medium or low by domain along with different dimensions
  • Having someone to rely on in case of need along with different dimensions
  • Frequency of being happy in the last 4 weeks along with different dimensions

Moreover, since the indicators are of multidimensional structure and can be analysed simultaneously along several dimensions, the separate datasets providing these indicators along with the different combinations of dimensions are also presented.

Full article

Description

  • The average rating of satisfaction by domain along with different dimensions with which is disseminated refers to the weighted mean of the level of satisfaction in different domains measured from 0 to 10 where 0 means "not at all satisfied" and 10 means "completely satisfied". The following domains of satisfaction are taken into account:
  1. Overall life satisfaction - PW010 (LIFESAT)
  2. Meaning of life - PW020 (MEANLIFE)
  3. Personal relationships - PW160 (RELSAT)
  4. Financial situation - PW030 (FINSAT)
  5. Accommodation - PW040 (ACCSAT)
  6. Job - PW100 (JOBSAT)
  7. Commuting time - PW110 (COMSAT)
  8. Time use - PW120 (TIMESAT)
  9. Recreational and green areas - PW200 (GREENSAT)
  10. Living environment - PW210 (LIVENSAT)
  • The average rating of trust by domain along with different dimensions with which is disseminated refers to the weighted mean of the level of trust in different domains measured from 0 to 10 where 0 means "no trust at all" and 10 means "complete trust". The following domains of trust are taken into account:
  1. Police - PW130 (PLCTST)
  2. Legal system - PW140 (LEGTST)
  3. Political system - PW150 (PLCTST)
  4. Others - PL190 (OTHTST)
  • The percentage of the population rating their satisfaction as high, medium or low by domain along with different dimensions with which is disseminated describes the proportion of population that assesses their level of satisfaction in different domains as low, medium or high. Level of satisfaction is measured on the scale from 0 to 10 where 0 means "not at all satisfied" and 10 means "completely satisfied". The levels used in this indicator (BWell) are computed in the following way:
  1. Low - 0-5 (LOW)
  2. Medium - 6-8 (MED)
  3. High - 9-10 (HIGH)

The following domains of satisfaction are taken into account:

  1. Overall life satisfaction - PW010 (LIFESAT)
  2. Meaning of life - PW020 (MEANLIFE)
  3. Personal relationships - PW160 (RELSAT)
  4. Financial situation - PW030 (FINSAT)
  5. Accommodation - PW040 (ACCSAT)
  6. Job - PW100 (JOBSAT)
  7. Commuting time - PW110 (COMSAT)
  8. Time use - PW120 (TIMESAT)
  9. Recreational and green areas - PW200 (GREENSAT)
  10. Living environment - PW210 (LIVENSAT)
  • Having someone to rely on in case of need along with different dimensions with which is disseminated presents the distribution of persons with two answer categories - "yes" and "no" (PW180).
  • The frequency of being happy in the last 4 weeks along with different dimensions with which is disseminated refers to the distribution of population divided according to the frequency of being happy in the last 4 weeks (PW090). The frequency (Well) is measured with the following levels:
  1. Always (ALW)
  2. Most of the time (MOST)
  3. Sometimes (SMT)
  4. Rarely (RAR)
  5. Never (NVR)

Statistical population

The statistical population consists of all persons aged 16 and over living in private households. Persons living in collective households and in institutions are generally excluded from the target population.

Households and individuals therein with missing values for any of the relevant dimensions, as well as with missing values for any variables used are excluded from calculations.

Reference period

All indicators are collected and disseminated on an annual basis and refer to the survey year.

The reference period for all dimensions along with the indicators are disseminated is the survey year, except for age, income and household type. As far as age is concerned, it refers to the age of the respondent at the end of the income reference period, based on which the household type is also derived. For income, the income reference period is a fixed 12-month period (such as the previous calendar or tax year) for all countries except the United Kingdom, for which the income reference period is the current year, and Ireland, for which the survey is continuous and income is collected for the last twelve months. Household type is the household type of the respondent at the end of income reference period.

Current situation is the reference period for all personal well-being indicators but emotional well-being (being happy) where the reference period is the past four weeks.

Unit of measurement

Indicators on satisfaction, on having someone to rely on in case of need and frequency of being happy are made available as a percentage of population. Additionally the average rating of satisfaction and trust is calculated.

Dimensions

The separate datasets provide each indicator along with the Geopolitical entity and time dimensions and the dimensions presented below.

The average rating of satisfaction, the average rating of trust, having someone to rely on in case of need and the frequency of being happy in the last 4 weeks are presented along with the following dimensions:

Percentage of the population rating their satisfaction as high, medium or low by domain is disseminated broken down by:

  • age group
  • sex
  • educational attainment

Calculation method

1. Rating of satisfaction by domain

Rating of satisfaction by domain along with the dimensions (k) $ (RATING\_SATISFACTION_{at\_k}) $, is calculated as weighted mean of the level of satisfaction in different domains measured from 0 to 10.

The weight variable used is the Personal Well-Being Weight (Wvar).


$ RATING\_SATISFACTION_{at\_k}=\frac{\sum\limits _{\forall i\_at\_k} Wvar_i\times \;DOMAIN\_SATISFACTION_i }{\sum \limits_{\forall{i}}Wvar_i} $

where:

k denotes the respective dimensions

DOMAIN_SATISFACTION signifies different domains of satisfaction and takes the following values: LIFESAT (Overall life satisfaction), MEANLIFE (Meaning of life), RELSAT (Personal relationships), FINSAT (Financial situation), ACCSAT (Accommodation), JOBSAT (Job), COMSAT (Commuting time), TIMESAT (Time use), GREENSAT (Recreational and green areas) and LIVENSAT (Living environment).

With regard to the calculation of the rating of satisfaction by domain, the following methodological issues should be taken into consideration:

  • Overall life satisfaction: represents a report of how a respondent evaluates or appraises his or her life taken as a whole. It is intended to represent a broad, reflective appraisal the person makes of his or her life. The term life is intended here as all areas of a person’s life at a particular point in time (these days). It refers therefore to the respondent’s opinion/feeling about the degree of satisfaction with his/her life. It focuses on how people are feeling "these days" rather than specifying a longer or shorter time period. The intent is not to obtain the current emotional state of the respondent but for them to make a reflective judgment on their level of satisfaction.
  • Meaning of life: is a multi-faceted construct that has been conceptualized in diverse ways. It refers broadly to the value and purpose of life, important life goals, and for some, spirituality. The respondent should be invited to think about what makes his/her life and existence feel important and meaningful and then answer to the question. The term "worthwhile" denotes meaning of purpose/beneficial. It is not related to any specific area of life, focuses rather on life in general.
  • Personal relationships: refers to the respondent’s opinion/feeling about the degree of satisfaction with his/her personal relationships. The respondent should make a broad, reflective appraisal of all areas of his/her personal relationships in a particular point in time (these days). Personal relationships should cover all possible relationships with e.g. relatives, friends, colleagues from work etc.
  • Financial situation: the respondent should make a broad, reflective appraisal of all areas of his/her financial situation in a particular point in time (these days). In doing so, respondent should take into account income adequacy, level of savings, capacity to pay back debt and money owed, ability to meet large emergency expenses, level of assets for the entire household.
  • Accommodation: refers to the respondent’s opinion/feeling about the degree of satisfaction with the accommodation in terms of meeting the household needs/opinion on the price (intended as financial burden related to accommodation), taking into account space, neighbourhood, distance to work, quality and other aspects.
  • Job: refers to the respondent’s opinion/feeling about the degree of satisfaction with his/her job. The respondent should make a broad, reflective appraisal of all areas of his/her job in a particular point in time (current situation). The activity status is based on the person's own perception of their main activity. This is in principle, determined on the basis of the most time spent, but no criteria have been specified explicitly. If the respondent has several jobs he/she should refer to the main job. If the respondent works and studies at the same time he/she should refer to the current job if he/she declared the job as the current economic activity.
  • Commuting time: refers to the respondent’s opinion/feeling about the degree of satisfaction with the commuting time. The respondent should make a broad, reflective appraisal of all areas of his/her commuting time to work in a particular point in time (current).
  • Time use: refers to the respondent’s opinion/feeling. The respondent should make a broad, reflective appraisal of all areas of his/her time use in a particular point in time (current). The respondent should not be given clues. By default the things the respondent likes doing are essentially a self-defined and a self-perceived concept.
  • Recreational and green areas: refers to the respondent’s opinion/feeling about the degree of satisfaction with the recreational or green areas in the place where he/she lives. The respondent should make a broad, reflective appraisal of recreational or green areas in a particular point in time (these days). The term “place where you live”' refers to the place situated close to the place of residence (where you usually go shopping, go for a walk, walk the way home). The term “recreational or green areas” refers to the places where the respondent can walk, cycle, do some recreational activities, etc.
  • Living environment: refers to the respondent’s opinion/feeling about the degree of satisfaction with the quality of his/her living environment. The respondent should make a broad, reflective appraisal of all areas related to living environment in a particular point in time (these days). The term “living environment” refers to the access to services (e.g. shops, public transport etc.), the presence of cinema, museums, theaters, etc in the place where the respondent lives. The term “place respondent lives” refers to the place situated close to the place of residence (where you usually go shopping, go for a walk, go the way home).


2. Rating of trust by domain

Rating of trust by domain along with the dimensions (k) $ (RATING\_TRUST_{at\_k}) $, is calculated as weighted mean of the level of trust in different domains measured from 0 to 10.

The weight variable used is the Personal Well-Being Weight (Wvar).


$ RATING\_TRUST_{at\_k}=\frac{\sum\limits _{\forall i\_at\_k} Wvar_i\times \;DOMAIN\_TRUST_i }{\sum \limits_{\forall{i}}Wvar_i} $

where:

k denotes the respective dimensions

DOMAIN_TRUST signifies different domains of satisfaction and takes the following values: PLCTST (Police), LEGTST (Legal system), PLCTST (Political system) and OTHTST (Others).

With regard to the calculation of the rating of trust by domain, the following methodological issues should be taken into consideration:

  • Police: refers to the police as an institution.
  • Legal system: refers to the entire system for interpreting and enforcing the laws and not to a specific legal entity within the country. Trust in the legal system is supposed to measure, for example, opinions and attitudes towards the effectiveness and efficiency of the institutions such as the courts, the fairness of its procedures and decisions, and the extent to which the sentences given out reflect the values and desires of citizens.
  • Political system: refers to a complete set of institutions, interest groups (such as political parties, trade unions), the relationships between those institutions and the political norms and rules that govern their functions.
  • Others: it is of general nature; it does not refer to a specific group of people.


3. Percentage of the population rating their satisfaction as high, medium or low by domain

Let BWell be the variable that describes the level of satisfaction in different domains. Distribution of population by level of satisfaction in different domains broken down by each combination of dimensions (k) $ (LEVEL\_SATISFACTIONxxx_{at\_k}) $ is calculated as the percentage of people in each k with different levels of satisfaction in different domains. The levels of satisfaction are outlined in BWell.


The weight variable used is the Personal Well-Being Weight (Wvar).


$ LEVEL\_SATISFACTIONxxx_{at\_k}=\frac{\sum \limits _{\forall i\;where\;BWell=xxx\_at\_k} Wvar_i} {\sum \limits _{\forall i\_at\_k} Wvar_i} \times 100 $


where xxx takes the values LOW (low), MED (medium) and HIGH (high) as described above.

With regard to the calculation of the percentage of the population rating their satisfaction as high, medium or low by domain, the methodological issues are described above.

4. Having someone to rely on in case of need

Having someone to rely on in case of need broken down by combination of dimensions (k) $ (SOMEONE\_RELY\_ONxxx_{at\_k}) $ is calculated as the percentage of people in each k who have or do not have someone to rely on in case of need.


The weight variable used is the Personal Well-Being Weight (Wvar).


$ SOMEONE\_RELY\_ONxxx_{at\_k}=\frac{\sum \limits _{\forall i\;where\;Well=xxx\_at\_k} Wvar_i} {\sum \limits _{\forall i\_at\_k} Wvar_i} \times 100 $

where xxx takes the values YES and NO.

With regard to the calculation of the percentage of the population that have someone to rely on in case of need, the following methodological issues should be taken into consideration:

  • Having someone to rely on refers to the respondent's possibility to ask for help (any kind of help: moral, material or financial) from any relatives, friends or neighbours. The question is about possibility for the respondent to ask for help whether the respondent needs it or not. Only relatives and friends (or neighbours) who don't live in the same household as the respondent should be considered.


5. Frequency of being happy in the last 4 weeks

Let Well be the variable that describes the frequency of happiness. Distribution of population by frequency of happiness broken down by combination of dimensions (k) $ (FREQUENCY\_HAPPINESSxxx_{at\_k}) $ is calculated as the percentage of people in each k with different frequencies of happiness. The frequencies of happiness are outlined in Well.


The weight variable used is the Personal Well-Being Weight (Wvar).


$ FREQUENCY\_HAPPINESSxxx_{at\_k}=\frac{\sum \limits _{\forall i\;where\;Well=xxx\_at\_k} Wvar_i} {\sum \limits _{\forall i\_at\_k} Wvar_i} \times 100 $

where xxx takes the values ALW (always), MOST (most of the time), SMT (sometimes), RAR (rarely) and NWR (never) as described above.

With regard to the calculation of the frequency of being happy in the last 4 weeks, the following methodological issues should be taken into consideration:

  • Being happy: it is based on self-rated affects or emotions and aim at measuring psychological well-being. It refers to the respondent’s feeling. He/she should be invited to indicate to what extent he/she has felt this way during the past four weeks.

Main concepts used

For the production of the indicators relevant to the subject area of housing deprivation, the variables listed below are also involved in computations:

Equivalised disposable Income (EQ_INC), Income quintile

SAS program files

The SAS programming routines developed for the computation of the EU-SILC personal wel-being datasets along with the different dimensions, are listed below.

Dataset SAS program file
Average rating of satisfaction by domain, sex, age and educational attainment level (ilc_pw01) _pw01.sas
Average rating of satisfaction by domain, income quintile, household type and degree of urbanisation (ilc_pw02) _pw02.sas
Average rating of trust by domain, sex, age and educational attainment level (ilc_pw03) _pw03.sas
Average rating of trust by domain, income quintile, household type and degree of urbanisation (ilc_pw04) _pw04.sas
Percentage of the population rating their satisfaction as high, medium or low by domain, sex, age and educational attainment level (ilc_pw05) _pw05.sas
Persons having someone to rely on in case of need by age, sex and educational attainment level (ilc_pw06) _pw06.sas
Persons having someone to rely on in case of need by income quintile, degree of urbanisation and household type (ilc_pw07) _pw07.sas
Frequency of being happy in the last 4 weeks by age, sex and educational attainment level (ilc_pw08) _pw08.sas
Frequency of being happy in the last 4 weeks by income quintile, degree of urbanisation and household type (ilc_pw09) _pw09.sas
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  • Living conditions and welfare (livcon)
Income and living conditions (ilc)
EU-SILC ad-hoc modules (ilc_ahm)
2013 Personal well-being indicators (ilc_hcm)