Quality of Life Improving for Athenians



Filopappos Hill in Athens. File photo

A recent survey from Eurostat, the European Statistics Authority, shows how Europeans in major cities feel about their their quality of life. There is some surprising good news for Greece, as Athenians’ overall satisfaction with their city increased compared to the last study.

Factors Eurostat took into consideration were transportation, educational and health infrastructure, the ability to find a job and ease in renting a house. The inclusion of migrants into society, the effectiveness of public services and the levels of noise, air pollution and city cleanliness were also measured.

Graphic by AMNA

In sixty-three European cities, the health infrastructure was considered to be one of the top three factors in their inhabitants’ quality of life, with people in twenty-seven of those cities  naming it the most important issue.

In fifty-two cities the problem of unemployment was among the top three considerations. Residents from a total of fifty-nine cities named their educational institutions in the top three contributors to the quality of their lives.

In some good news for Greece, Athens recorded the highest increase of positive answers compared to the last survey, conducted in 2012. In an answer to a general question about how happy they are living in their own city, 71 percent of Athenians said they were satisfied.

Still, seventy-one percent ranks low in life-quality approval among all the European cities studied, with Vilnius, Lithuania recording an astonishing 98 percent satisfied residents.

However, Athens ranks quite high regarding public transportation, with 72 percent being satisfied, compared to an abysmal thirty percent of neighboring Rome, Italy.

Things were understandably gloomier for the Greek capital on issues such as household economic health, with only one out of three Athenians being satisfied with the money they earn. Meanwhile, ninety percent of the population in Stockholm, Sweden said they were satisfied with their economic situation.

Similar low percentages are recorded on the issue of the cleanliness of public spaces in Southern Europe, with Athens scoring only 30 percent. In Rome less than one out of ten people thought their city was clean.

Cities in Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece continued to rank low among European cities on the ease of finding a job. The European south has historically lagged behind northern Europe, with chronically high rates of unemployment.