Monitoring of living conditions

Most Belgians are happy

Most Belgians are happy

Most Belgians are happy! In the second quarter of 2023, 65.4% of us felt happy all the time (9.1%) or most of the time (56.3%).

Young people (aged 16-24) seem to be the happiest population group in general (71.9%), unlike people aged 65-74 (57.4%).

Workers (71.8%) generally achieve better results than others. They are happier than retired people (58.6%), the unemployed (38.6%) and, above all, people on long-term disability (32.1%), second only to students (77.5%).

While over 70% of people in couples, with or without children, say they are always or most of the time happy, single people and members of single-parent families stand out clearly, with only 46.7% and 50.3% respectively saying they are happy as often.

Although it is often said that money can't buy happiness, it is striking that people with higher income also tend to feel happier. In fact, more than three quarters of people in the highest income quintile say they are happy most of the time (64.7%) or even all the time (11.1%). For people in the lowest income quintile, the figures are 43.6% and 7.3% respectively.

Finally, regional differences can be seen in these figures. While 70.7% of Flemings say they are happy at least most of the time, only 60.2% of Walloons and 51.3% of Brussels residents do so.

These figures come from a survey in which Statbel questions some 5,000 Belgians aged between 16 and 74 every quarter about their personal well-being and living conditions.

Purpose and brief description

IALC (Infra Annual Living Conditions) is a quarterly survey on personal wellbeing and living conditions.


Members of private households aged 16 to 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.


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.



Response rate

Statbel surveys some 5.000 Belgians aged 16 to 74.