Residents of Bulgaria’s capital city Sofia are among the least satisfied in a European Union capital with life in their city, according to a report “Urban Europe”, released on September 7 by EU statistics agency Eurostat.
However, the level of satisfaction among residents of Sofia had risen, from 84 per cent in 2012 to 86 per cent in 2015, Eurostat’s figures showed.
Sofia came in fifth from the bottom among EU capitals. The four cities with lower levels of satisfaction among residents were Romania’s capital Bucharest, the greater Paris area, Italy’s capital Rome, and Greece’s greater Athens area.
Eurostat said that in 18 EU capitals, at least nine out of 10 inhabitants were satisfied with life in their city.
The highest satisfaction levels were found in Vilnius, where 98 per cent of the population was satisfied with life in their city, closely followed by Stockholm and Copenhagen (97 per cent each), as well as Vienna and Luxembourg (96 per cent each).
In 10 EU countries, satisfaction levels below 90 per cent were reported. The lowest satisfaction levels were found in Athens, where 71 per cent of the population was satisfied with life in their city, followed by Rome (80 per cent), as well as Bucharest and Paris (83 per cent each).
Satisfaction with life in the city increased the most in Athens.
Compared with 2012, satisfaction with life in the city went up in most EU capital cities. The largest increases between 2012 and 2015 were observed for Athens (from a 56 per cent satisfaction rate in 2012 to 71 per cent in 2015), followed by Budapest (an increase of six percentage points) as well as Riga and Vilnius (both saw increases of five percentage points), Brussels and Bratislava (both by four percentage points).
In contrast, satisfaction with life in the city slightly dropped in five EU capital cities: Amsterdam, Berlin and Lisbon (all dropped by two percentage points) as well as Paris and Helsinki (both by one percentage point).
An analysis by degree of urbanisation reveals that people living in the cities of Croatia, Portugal, Estonia, Bulgaria, Greece and Slovenia generally had a higher level of overall life satisfaction than their compatriots living in towns and suburbs or rural areas, the report said.
The opposite was true in Denmark, Ireland, Cyprus, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom, where those living in rural areas recorded the highest levels of overall life satisfaction.
Those living in the cities of Bulgaria and Greece were particularly unsatisfied with their commute to work, and this was also the case (although to a lesser degree) for those living in the cities of Spain and the United Kingdom, the report said.
(Photo: Clive Leviev-Sawyer)