What’s it like being young in the EU today?
Quality of life
According to the report on quality of life in the EU launched by Eurofound, people aged 16-24 have the highest levels of life satisfaction (rated 7.6 out of 10 on average) along with couples with children (7.4). The report also points out that people with the highest average life satisfaction also tend to have very good health. Although smoking is widespread among young people in the EU, the vast majority (67.7%) say that they have good or very good health, and a majority practice a sport or other physical activity. In general, Europeans tend to be satisfied with their personal relationships (with an average rating of 7.8 out of 10), housing (7.5) and living environment (7.3).
Lifestyle and habits
More and more young people are going online every day (9 out of 10 of people aged 16-29), especially on mobile devices. Young people also tend to spend more time in education before getting a job. This might be because they have trouble finding work, with the rate of youth unemployment at 20.9%. However, they have less confidence in their legal system (4.6 out of 10). This is reflected by voter turnout in the EU parliamentary elections in 2014 (42.5%). Only 56% of people aged 15‑30 said they had voted in an election in the previous three years, although the figures were higher in Malta (76%), Belgium (73%) and Italy (71%). A considerable proportion of young people (44%) have never taken part in organised activities. The most popular activities were those linked to sports clubs (35% of young people said they had taken part in activities organised by a sports club in the past year) and youth clubs, leisure groups or any kind of youth organisation (22 %).