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The happiest country in Europe revealed

Eurostat says that in past year ‘EU citizens tended to be quite satisfied with their life in general’

Namita Singh
Monday 18 December 2023 18:51 GMT
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New figures from the EU’s statistics agency rank Austria as the happiest country in the 27-member bloc.

Austria scored an overall 7.9 out of 10 in Eurostat’s annual publication of its “quality of life indicators”, which is based on surveys conducted throughout member states.

Poland, Finland and Romania ranked joint-second in the data with all scoring 7.7 out of 10, while at the other end of the scale, Bulgaria had the lowest score, as the only country to score less than six (5.6) on the overall life satisfaction index.

Eurostat said its publication aims “to capture trends in the subjective well-being of European citizens”, noting that “EU citizens tended to be quite satisfied with their life in general, reporting an average of 7.1 points out of 10”.

It said that factors such as level of education, family and financial stability impacted survey respondents’ overall satisfaction with their lives, rather than simply wealth.

“It is interesting to note that some countries associated with low levels of income in the recent past... such as Romania and Poland, are among the countries where life satisfaction is highest – showing the complexity of the relation between subjective well-being and economic welfare,” Eurostat said.

Austria ranked top with 7.9, while Bulgaria trailed with a distant 5.6

Italy, Spain and France, three of the largest economies in the EU, all hover around the 7.1 average for the continent.

However, Germany was found to be one of the unhappiest countries in the survey, beating only Bulgaria, with a score of 6.5. It scored 7.1 in last year’s figures for 2021.

While the study does not indicate the cause behind the drop in the general life satisfaction of a German, it appears consistent with other polls that reflect a dip in the mood of the country’s residents.

According to a separate survey published by the Rheingold Institute in Cologne last week, only 22 per cent of Germans considered themselves to be “committed optimists”, while 29 per cent were “contented moderates”, reported The Times.

The study also found that up to 20 per cent of adults were “overwhelmed by anxiety”, while nine per cent were “uninterested and withdrawn”.

Concerns appear to be related to Germany’s economic stagnation, the Ukraine war and immigration.

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