Monitoring of living conditions

Students are the happiest

Households
Students are the happiest

In the quarterly survey on personal well-being and living conditions, Statbel interviewed some 5,000 Belgians aged 16 to 74. In the first quarter of 2024:

  • 66.6% of Belgians felt always or usually happy,
  • 9.3% of Belgians felt always or usually lonely,
  • 38.3% of Belgians found it very difficult, difficult or rather difficult to make ends meet,
  • 53.9% of Belgians reported a high degree of general life satisfaction,
  • 66.2% of Belgians reported a high degree of satisfaction with personal relationships,
  • 35.1% of Belgians reported a high degree of satisfaction with financial situation,
  • 25.1% of Belgians said their income was higher compared to last year, and 64.7% said their income was more or less the same as last year.

While we recorded the lowest rate (62.3%) of happiness for Belgians in the last quarter of 2023, this has increased back to 66.6% in the first quarter of 2024. The increase in happiness is there across the three regions and for all age groups.

Compared to the previous quarter, we notice that the increase is especially significant for the retired (from 57.5% to 65.2%) and for students (from 70.3% to 77.2%). Students (77.2%) give higher happiness scores than, for example, the employed (71.9%), the retired (65.2%) and the unemployed (42.8%).

While 38.3% of Belgians found it very difficult, difficult or rather difficult to make ends meet in the first quarter of 2024, this figure was 45.1% in Brussels, 43.9% in Wallonia and 33.9% in Flanders. Notable is the significant drop in Wallonia compared to the previous quarter where 52.7% of Walloons said they were struggling to make ends meet.

Purpose and brief description

IALC (Infra Annual Living Conditions) is a quarterly survey on personal wellbeing and living conditions. It was created as part of the monitoring to social recovery in times of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Population

Members of private households in Belgium aged 16-74

Sample frame

Demographic data from the National Register.

Data collection method and sample size

The IALC survey was coupled to the Labour Force Survey (LFS). A limited module of questions was added at the end of the questionnaire for the respondents in the fourth wave of the LFS survey (in the CAWI/WATI questionnaire). This survey started in the third quarter of 2021 and is scheduled until the fourth quarter of 2024.

Definitions

Low-skilled people are people who have at best a lower secondary education diploma. Medium-skilled people have obtained an upper secondary education diploma, but no higher education diploma. High-skilled people have a higher education diploma.

Questionnair

Questionnair

Response rate

Statbel surveys some 5.000 Belgians aged 16 to 74. 

Periodicity

Quarterly