WELLBEING IN RURAL AREAS OF LITHUANIA: FINDINGS FROM THE EUROPEAN SOCIAL SURVEY
Keywords:Wellbeing, rural areas, happiness, satisfaction with life, European social survey
This article reports on the evaluation of the wellbeing of rural people in Lithuania. Literature analysis and empirical findings suggest that research on wellbeing has received scant attention, especially at the local level in Lithuania. Although, to date, some research has been carried out on other specific factors of wellbeing such as belonging to a particular social group, wellbeing in the city, or wellbeing related to job environment, etc., far too little attention has been paid to socio-demographic variables. These limitations call for a more comprehensive discussion and analysis of the situation of a wellbeing and its tendencies in rural areas. The aim of this research is to evaluate the relationship between wellbeing and socio-demographic characteristics of residents of rural areas in Lithuania. Statistical calculations evaluating the wellbeing of rural people were made by using data from the last Round 8 of the European Social Survey. The findings show that the wellbeing of rural people is related to socio- demographic characteristics. People living in big cities of Lithuania rate their happiness higher than those living in towns or small cities and rural areas; residents of rural areas of Lithuania who live with children are happier and more satisfied with life than those living without children at household grid; weak and negative, but statistically significant, correlations between happiness and age, and satisfaction with life and age were observed; younger residents in rural areas of Lithuania are happier and more satisfied with life in comparison to older ones; the longer people study, the happier and more satisfied with life they are; divorced are less happy and satisfied with life than those who have never been married as well as those who are legally married or are widows/widowers; people who study are happier and more satisfied with life than those who work, are unemployed or retired.
Key words: Wellbeing, rural areas, happiness, satisfaction with life, European social survey.