Measuring the well-being of populations has been a concern of statisticians for some time, but has gained particular attention from politicians, the media and the public over recent years. In the EU, discussions about shifting the focus away from Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the single measure for societal progress were kick-started in 2007 with the "Beyond GDP" conference and followed by the European Commission “GDP and beyond – Measuring progress in a changing world” communication and a study commissioned by Eurostat to explore the feasibility of a policy-relevant set of well-being indicators.
Since then, several initiatives have been set up, which have culminated in the decision of the European Statistical System Committee (ESSC) in November 2011 to work towards developing a set of Quality of Life (QoL) indicators for the EU.
The indicators presented here should be seen as a first attempt in combining data from several sources for measuring Quality of Life in the EU along the following dimensions:
The data presented here come from several sources from within the European Statistical System (ESS), in particular SILC (statistics on income and living conditions), LFS (labour force survey), EHIS (European Health Interview Survey), and administrative sources. In case no data are available from within the ESS, external links to non-ESS sources, such as the EQLS (European Quality of Life Survey), are used as placeholders.