Study of the Portuguese Society- Happiness, satisfaction and quality of life, loneliness and health perception (November 2016)
The Observatory of Portuguese Society of CATÓLICA-LISBON performed its forth study in November 2016. This study, which assessed 983 participants, assessed general indicators of happiness and satisfaction with life, position in society, health perception, loneliness and quality of life, trust in health system, and income and savings in members of the Portuguese Society.
As obtained in the last trimester of 2015, in general, participants reported feeling happy (72%) and being satisfied with life in general (68%). Despite these results, Portugal is still in an average position compared to the remaining European countries.
Concerning position in society, 59% of participants perceives themselves in a central position in society, while 19% is positioned in the upper part of society and 22% in the lower part. When compared to European results obtained in the European Social Survey (ESS) of 2012, our sample has a higher percentage of individuals positioned in the upper side of the society pyramid (19% versus 7%, respectively).
Regarding health perception, 81% of participants report having a good to excellent health, and only 19% refers having fair to poor health. Compared to the remaining European countries, Portugal is one of the European countries with lower levels of participants perceiving their health as good to execelent. Participants reported a very positive perception regarding their current health condition: 84% disagree that they feel that their health limits their participation in social activities, 83% that it interferes with their social relationships, and 81% who find it difficult to perform daily activities due to their health.
About aspects of loneliness, most participants does not refers feeling lonely. In fact, most participants report that they never or almost never feel left out (73%), feel isolated from others (68%), feel that there is no one they can turn to (67%), and that they feel unhappy being so withdrawn (66%). Moreover, 59% can always or most of the time find companionship when they want it. These findings are consistent with those obtained in the ESS of 2014, whose results suggest that Portugal has an average position regarding the remaining European countries.
In what concerns quality of life, 47% of participants report having a very good to good quality of life, 41% consider it as fair and 12% report having a poor or very poor quality of life. 67% of participants report that they have completely or almost completely enough energy for everyday life. Interestingly, only 28% of participants report having enough money to meet their needs, 38% report that the money they have does not meet never or almost never their needs, and 34% report that it only moderately meets their needs. Participants report average levels of satisfaction regarding several aspects of life conditions: ability to perform daily living activities (67% satisfied and very satisfied), health (59% satisfied and very satisfied), conditions of their living place (56% satisfied and very satisfied), and personal relationships (57% satisfied and very satisfied).
Regarding trust in the National Health System (SNS), 93% of participants report that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that all Portuguese have access to health care. Approximately 45% of respondents strongly trust in the National Health System, and the areas they are most satisfied with are quality (40%) and accessibility (36%). Only 27% of participants are satisfied with costs of health care in Portugal.
Lastly, in terms of savings behavior, 89% of participants report being very interested in saving and 48% of participants report that they would need between 500€ and 1000€ to meet their household expenses. Regarding the savings achieved in 2015, 20% of respondents could not manage to save any money, and 53% managed to save up to 20% of their household income. Participants who report lower difficulty in living with their household income have higher average level of general happiness and quality of life compared to participants who report higher difficulty in living with the household income.
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