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.

In Norway, 21 percent of the population are highly satisfied (answers 9 or 10 on a scale from 0 to 10), while 28 percent have low satisfaction with their life (answers between 0 and 5 on the scale). Satisfaction with life is significantly lower in 2021 than in 2020. There has been a decline in 10 of the 12 indicators on subjective well-being between 2020 and 2021. The decline coincides with changes in several of the living conditions that is surveyed. There has for example been an increase in the share of people having health issues or symptoms of anxiety or depression, sleep problems, pain, little social contact or feeling lonely. These factors are related to satisfaction with life.

In general, young people are less satisfied than older people. This applies for most of the quality-of-life-indicators in the survey, except for satisfaction with physical health, 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. People that are non-heterosexual are also among the groups that have low satisfaction.

The report also covers the relationship between objective living conditions and life satisfaction. The results show that life satisfaction varies based on indicators on health, social relations, work-environment, school-environment, economy, residence, local environment, societal factors, 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. Indicators on social relations are related to life satisfaction. For example, to feel lonely is negatively linked to the satisfaction indicator. Of the work-environment indicators, experiencing sexual harassment at work is an example of an indicator linked to reduced satisfaction. Economy also has significance for satisfaction in life. Having experienced discrimination negatively impacts life satisfaction, and 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.