Life satisfaction

In 2017, the population aged 15 and over in Belgium assessed their life satisfaction with an average score of 6.9 out of 10. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must not decrease.

The chart will appear within this DIV.

Life satisfaction - Belgium and international comparison

average score 0-10

population aged 15 years and over

 200520102012201320142015201620172017//20052017//2012
Belgium7.36.96.97.16.96.96.96.9-0.40.0
Germany6.66.76.77.07.07.06.97.10.61.1
France7.16.86.76.76.56.46.56.6-0.60.0
Netherlands7.57.57.57.47.37.37.57.50.00.0
//: Average Growth Rates

For some years (2006, 2007 and 2009), data are not available for all countries.

Gallup World Poll (2018), based on Helliwell, J., Layard, R. & Sachs, J. (2018), World Happiness Report 2018, New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

Definition: the evaluation of one's own life is based on the answers of the respondents (aged 15 or older) to the Gallup World Poll 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. The indicator is calculated by the FPB using data from the Gallup World Poll. Since these data are collected from surveys, a margin of uncertainty must be considered. Data on confidence intervals are not made publicly available.

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: due to the subjective character of the type of questions asked for this indicator, comparisons between countries are of little significance. It is more appropriate to compare developments. In Germany, satisfaction with one's own life increased, while it slightly decreased in France and Belgium and remained stable in the Netherlands.

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

  • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

  • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

  • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

  • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 23/10/2018).

More information is available in FR (French) and NL (Dutch).