Monitoring of living conditions

62.3% of Belgians felt always or usually happy

62.3% of Belgians felt always or usually happy

Since the third quarter of 2021, Statbel, the Belgian statistical office, asks every quarter some 5,000 Belgians aged 16 to 74 about their personal well-being and living conditions. In the fourth quarter of 2023:

  • 62.3% of Belgians felt always or usually happy,
  • 8% of Belgians felt always or usually lonely,
  • 42.4% of Belgians found it very difficult, difficult or rather difficult to make ends meet,
  • 52.9% of Belgians declared having a high degree of general life satisfaction,
  • 66.6% of Belgians reported having a high degree of satisfaction with personal relationships,
  • 35.5% of Belgians declared having a high degree of satisfaction with financial situation,
  • 22.6% of Belgians stated that they have a higher income than the previous year and 66.6% having a more or less equal income compared to the previous year.

62.3% of Belgians felt always (8%) or usually (54.3%) happy. The decrease is significant compared to the third quarter where it amounted to 66.6%, also the lowest percentage since the beginning of this survey in the third quarter of 2021.

Young people (16-24 years old) appear being the happiest population group in general (71% in the fourth quarter of 2023), unlike people aged 65 to 74 years old (57.3%). The decrease in feeling of happiness is pronounced for the 25-49-year-olds where it goes down from 66.9% in the 3rd quarter 2023 to 62.6% in the 4th quarter of 2023, also from 66% to 59.9% for the 50-54-year-olds and from 62.8% to 57.3% for the 65-74-year-olds. The decrease is also sharper among women (from 67.6% to 61.3%) than men (from 65.7% to 63.2%).

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.


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.