Malta has obtained a score of 7.5 out of 10 on Overall Life Satisfaction in the EU, according to the latest Quality of Life figures released by Eurostat. This is somewhat higher than the EU’s score of 7.3, comparing quite favourably with the best score of 8.1 registered by leaders Finland and Ireland, and way ahead of the lowest score of 5.4 obtained by Bulgaria.
The overall score obtained by Malta is influenced by 26.6% of the population that feel they have a high overall satisfaction and 59.5% who have medium satisfaction. Just 13.8% say they have a low satisfaction.
The EU Quality of Life figures are determined by 10 dimensions of life.
Satisfaction with finances
In material living conditions, Malta scores 6.8 out of 10 against an EU average of 6.5. The best scores (7.6) are registered by the Scandinavian countries, while Bulgaria is the lowest (4.3). The scores are influenced by people’s satisfaction with finances, where Malta registers 16.9% who are highly satisfied, 57.5% whose satisfaction is medium, and 25.6% who have low satisfaction.
Closely-connected to living conditions are housing conditions, where Malta scores 7.9 compared with 7.4 for the EU. Denmark and Finland get a score of 8.4%, while Bulgaria is again the laggard with 6.0%. Malta’s score is based on housing satisfaction reflecting 38.6% who are highly satisfied, 38.6%, 51.2% who have medium satisfaction, and just 10.2% who have a low satisfaction. The overcrowding rate of 3.7% is well below the EU’s score of 17.1%.
No doubt, the above two dimensions are strongly influenced by the employment percentage dimension, where Malta scores 73.8% compared to the EU’s 67.6%. The EU score ranges from 56.3% in Greece to 77.8% in the Netherlands. Closely related to this is job satisfaction, where Malta scores 7.5 out of 10, with 86.6% having a medium-to-high job satisfaction, while 13.4% are poorly satisfied.
Maltese feel the safest in the EU
Another dimension where Malta gets a good score, in fact the best score, is in safety, with 66.4% of people feeling safe when walking in the dark versus 27.2% in the EU and just 9.8% in Lithuania. This despite the fact that the share of the population reporting crime, violence or vandalism in the area is 13.6% compared to an EU average of 11% and just 2.4% in Croatia.
On tertirary education, Malta scores 30.5%, which is lower than the EU average of 32.8% and well short of leader Ireland’s 49.9%, though well ahead of laggard Romania’s 18.7%. But in overall educational attainment levels of people aged 25-64 years, Malta is dragged down by a high figure of 42.4% who have a low level while 27.2% have a medium level.
Quality of Life is strongly affected by people’s health conditions, where Malta scores 64.2% compared to 68.6% for the EU. The Irish perceive their health as being very good with a score of 84.1%, while only 46.2% of Lithuania’s citizens feel the same. In Malta, almost three-quarters of the population perceive their health as being good to very good, just under 22% see it as fair and a mere 4.0% perceive it as bad or very bad. The excellent health system no doubt contributes to life expectancy at birth being 82.6 years in Malta, ahead of 81.3 years in the EU.
Malta still boasts of close family ties. These contribute to the fact that the share of people having someone to rely on in case of need is 96.5% in Malta, compared to 93.2% in the EU. As a result, Malta scores 8.6 out of 10 with people’s satisfaction in their personal relationships versus 7.9 in the EU.
Satisfied with the environment
In terms of people’s satisfaction with the living environment, it seems that the sentiments expressed on the media are not necessarily reflected in the population. According to Eurostat, 31% of the population are highly satisfied and just over 46% have medium satisfaction, and almost 23% have low satisfaction. This puts Malta’s score on the environment at 7.1, which is marginally below the EU average and short of leader Austria’s 8.4.
On governance, which is measured by trust in the legal system, Malta gets a score of 4.9 out of 10. This somewhat low score is still better than the EU’s average score of 4.5 and Slovenia’s low 2.7, but well short of Denmark’s 7.5.
Overall, Malta’s quality of life scores are mostly better than the average in the EU, which probably explains why most people say they are satisfied with the way they put their time to use. In fact, here Malta scores 6.6 out of 10, almost the same as in the EU, though we still have some way to go to reach leader Denmark’s score of 7.8. It seems, though, that the Maltese are too busy to have more time for leisure, given that the average hours they work are 39.6 per week, compared to 34 in the EU and just 30.3 in the Netherlands.