Life satisfaction (i20)

  •  30/11/2021
  • objective  
  •  assessment 

In 2018, the population aged 15 and over in Belgium assessed their life satisfaction with an average score of 7.5 out of 10. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must not decrease. Between 2002 and 2018, the trend is favourable (assessment of November 2021).

The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.
The chart will appear within this DIV.

Life satisfaction - Belgium and international comparison

score 0-10

population aged 15 years and over

 2002201020122014201620182018//20022018//2012
Belgium7.47.57.47.47.47.50.10.2
Germany6.97.27.67.47.57.60.60.0
France6.36.36.66.46.76.50.2-0.2
Netherlands7.77.88.07.67.87.90.2-0.1
//: Average Growth Rates

ESS (2020), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 29/09/2020); calculations FPB.

Life satisfaction by sex - Belgium

score 0-10

population aged 15 years and over

 2002201020122014201620182018//20022018//2012
females7.47.47.47.47.47.50.00.2
males7.37.67.47.47.57.50.20.2
//: Average Growth Rates

ESS (2020), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 29/09/2020); calculations FPB.

Life satisfaction by income - Belgium

score 0-10

population aged 15 years and over

 201020122014201620182018//2012
quintile 16.66.36.96.87.11.8
quintile 27.27.17.17.27.10.1
quintile 37.57.57.37.47.60.1
quintile 47.77.87.67.77.7-0.2
quintile 57.88.17.87.87.9-0.3
//: Average Growth Rates

ESS (2020), Dataset European Social Survey, http://www.europeansocialsurvey.org/ (consulted on 29/09/2020); calculations FPB.

Definition: the evaluation of one's own life is based on the answers of the respondents (aged 15 or older) to the European Social Survey question: “Please imagine a ladder with steps numbered from zero at the bottom to ten at the top. Suppose we say that the top of the ladder represents the best possible life for you and the bottom of the ladder represents the worst possible life for you. If the top step is 10 and the bottom step is 0, on which step of the ladder do you feel you personally stand at the present time? This indicator is expressed as an average score out of 10. This question was asked in each of the nine biennial ESS surveys. The FPB calculates the indicator using the ESS data. Since these data are based on surveys, a margin of uncertainty must be taken into account. The confidence intervals for these data are available on request.

Goal: life satisfaction cannot decrease.

The sustainable development goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include target 3.4: “By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being”.

The Federal Long-Term Strategic Vision for Sustainable Development sets out that an inclusive society promotes the well-being of each individual (introduction to the challenge “A society that promotes social cohesion”, Belgian Official Gazette, 08/10/2013).

International comparison: in all the neighboring countries there is an increase in life satisfaction. In Germany, satisfaction with one's own life increased most, while it only slightly increased in France, the Netherlands and Belgium.

UN Indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to target 3.4: there is a close link between mental health and well-being on the one hand and life satisfaction on the other.

Sources

More information is available in French and Dutch.