You are here: Home / Publications / Headings / In the Spotlight / April 2017 - Are Brussels residents happy with their quality of life?

April 2017 - Are Brussels residents happy with their quality of life?

Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA) - In the spotlight - Percentage of people satisfied with their quality of life in Brussels and Europe in 2015

The survey "Quality of life in European cities" looks at how Europeans perceive their quality of life in their city of residence. The fifth edition was conducted in 2015. A number of environmental aspects aside, Brussels residents tend to be happy with their quality of life.

Percentage of people satisfied with their quality of life in Brussels and Europe in 2015, for a selection of 12 themes


How to read the graph?

The graph is presented in “radar” or “spider web” format. The twelve axes of this graph correspond to twelve issuesof the opinion survey.

Each axis runs from 0 (in the centre) to 100 (the perimeter), charting the percentage of respondents who expressed their satisfaction with each topic. In other words, the closer the score to the perimeter, the higher the percentage of satisfied respondents.

The graph compares the values for Brussels (in yellow) against the average values for the 79 European cities that took part in the survey (in blue). In this survey, “Brussels” encompasses the 19 municipalities of the Brussels-Capital Region.


Health services are the most valued

Health services are given the highest score, with 89% of respondents stating that they are happy with the health service provided. That is well above the European average, which stands at 70%.

Health services include both care providers (doctors...) and infrastructure (hospitals, health centres...).


Retail shops, green spaces, cultural facilities and public spaces all score well

Retail shops come second in the satisfaction rankings, with 87% of Brussels respondents expressing satisfaction. This is slightly above the European average (84%).

Other quality of life components are either on a par with or exceed a satisfaction rating of 80%. These include green spaces (85%), cultural facilities (83%) and public spaces (80%). For these categories, the European average ranges between 76% and 79%.


Cleanliness, air quality and noise levels must be improved

Cleanliness, air quality and noise levels all pose an issue among Brussels residents:

  • A mere 46% claim to be happy with the city’s level of cleanliness, which is far below the European average of 65%.
  • In contrast to the European average of 63%, only 51% of Brussels respondents are satisfied with the quality of the air they breathe.
  • While 62% of Europeans claim to be satisfied with the levels of noise they are exposed to, only 54% of Brussels residents profess satisfaction with noise levels.


Since 2004, the European Commission’s opinion survey has been conducted about every 3 years. It is published in the “Flash Eurobarometer” series. For the 2015 edition, 40,000 people across 79 different cities were surveyed by phone. Some 500 residents per city were interviewed. The topics covered were much broader than quality of life only. They touched on issues like housing, health, the economy, work, the environment, transport, hobbies and respondents’ sense of security.


 Keen to find out more?

If so, check out the numerous environment statistics that have been published on the BISA website, under the theme “Environment and Energy”. Also, the “Environment and society” tables include statistics on the quality of life.

The full survey report “Quality of life in European Cities in 2015” (Flash Eurobarometer 419) can be found on the website of the European Commission.