Romania, the EU country with lowest percentage of people who consider themselves happy
Only 13% of the Romanian respondents in a recent Eurobarometer strongly agree they generally consider themselves to be a happy person, the lowest percentage in the EU of people who strongly agree with the statement.
At the same time, 46% of the Romanian respondents agreed with the same statement, combining to a total of 59% who think of themselves as happy. This is still the lowest percentage among the surveyed countries, behind Bulgaria (62% overall) and Greece (64% overall). The EU 28 average of people who strongly agree with the statement is of 30%.
At the opposite end, more than half of all respondents in Denmark (59%), Sweden (56%) and Ireland (52%) strongly agree they generally consider themselves to be a happy person.
At the same time, respondents in Romania are also some of the least likely to say they are in good health: 57% of them agreed that they were in good health, while 18% disagreed. Furthermore, 31% of the Romanian respondents said they felt lonely some of the time, compared to the EU average of 24%. A total of 12% said they felt lonely most of the time and 4% almost all of the time.
When it comes to the perceptions of society, equal percentages (38%) of Romanian respondents agreed and disagreed that they had the same opportunities of getting ahead in life as anyone else.
A total of 59% of the Romanian respondents listed having good health as essential, and 38% as important to getting ahead in life. This is accompanied by having a good education - listed by 37% as essential; working hard – listed by 18% as essential; knowing the right people, which 28% thought as essential; being lucky, considered by 35% as essential; having political connections, which 18% thought as essential. Of the respondents, 10% thought of being of a specific ethnic origin as essential to getting ahead in life.
In what fairness in the application of justice and of political decisions is concerned, only 4% of the Romanian respondents strongly agreed that justice always prevails over injustice in the country. Another 29% agreed with the statement, but 28% strongly disagreed and 12% disagreed.
The results are part of the “Fairness, inequality and inter-generational mobility” Eurobarometer. It was conducted through face-to-face interviews in December 2017. A total of 28,031 people were interviewed in 28 EU countries.
The Eurobarometer found that more than half of respondents think that people have equal opportunities to get ahead (58%). However, this figure hides substantial regional disparities, with 81% agreeing in Denmark, but only 18% in Greece.
Respondents are less optimistic about fairness in specific fields. Only 39% are confident that justice always prevails over injustice, while the same proportion disagrees. Only 32% agree that political decisions are applied consistently to all citizens and 48% disagree. Overall, people are more likely to perceive things to be fair if they are better educated, younger, and better-off.
The overwhelming majority think that income differences are too great (84%), ranging from 96% in Portugal and 92% in Germany to 59% in the Netherlands. In all countries except Denmark more than 60% agree that governments should take measures to reduce these differences.