Reports 2020/35

Life Quality in Norway, 2020

This publication is in Norwegian only.

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In March 2020 Statistics Norway (SSB) conducted a national survey on Quality of Life. The main purpose of the survey was to get knowledge on Norwegian’s quality of life, and study differences between population groups. Questions on general satisfaction with life, satisfaction with different areas of life, optimism for the future, general engagement, management of life, social relations and positive and negative feelings were asked in the survey.

Most Norwegians are satisfied with life. 26 per cent of the population are highly satisfied (answers 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 to 10), while 22 per cent have low satisfaction with their life (answers between 0 and 5 on the scale). In general, young people are less satisfied than older people. This applies for almost all quality-of-life-indicators in the survey, except for questions on optimism for the future and rewarding social relations. Another consistent finding is that people with low educational levels and low incomes are less satisfied on many quality of life-indicators compared to people with high education levels and high incomes. Another important result in the report is that satisfaction varies a lot by life situation. People that are unemployed, physically disabled or have health challenges are examples of groups that are overrepresented among those that are unsatisfied with life.

The results show that people in the highest income quartile have a better score on allsubjective life quality indicators. People with higher education also score significantly better than the general population on almost all indicators. On the other hand, we find several groups that score significantly worse on all indicators on subjective life quality compared to the general population. This applies for people that are unemployed, have low income, low education, physical disabilities, symptoms of mental illness and the non-heterosexual (homosexual, lesbian, bisexual or other sexual identity).

We also cover the life satisfaction of people with different objective living conditions in the report. The report covers indicators on health, social relations, work-environment, school-environment, economy, residence, local environment, democratic rights, leisure time and negative life events. Of the health indicators people with anxiety- and depression-symptoms seem to have the biggest risk for low satisfaction. For indicators on social relations, having friends, family and someone to contact if there’s need are the ones that have the strongest significance to good quality of life. For example, to feel lonely is negatively linked to the satisfaction indicator. Of the work-environment indicators the report state that, especially, experiencing sexual harassment at work is linked to reduced satisfaction. Economy also seem to have significance for satisfaction in life. Having experienced discrimination also has significance for the quality of life. The share that is not satisfied with life is twice as large among those that have experienced discrimination compared to those that have not. Finally, we find that some life events stand out, because a very large share of people having experienced them report low satisfaction of life. This is especially true for those that have experienced strongly personal offensive incidents, exposure to- or threats of violence, forced- or attempted to be forced to sexual intercourse or being humiliated over a longer period.

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