Quality of Life and the Environment

Final Report for the ERTDI-funded project: 2004-SD-DS-16-M1

Summary: ERTDI Report 74 - Bullock et al.

ERTDI Report 74 thumbnail

Published: 2008

ISBN: 1-84095-244-X

Pages: 79

Filesize: 3,183 KB

Format: pdf


The study examines objective indicators associated with quality of life in Ireland. These include indicators of environmental quality, income, house prices, health, education and crime. The analysis then moves on to compare these objective indicators with subjective indicators as revealed through the use of a public survey and further qualitative analysis based on focus group discussions. The intention, therefore, was to compare the objective measures with people’s perception of these indicators and their own subjective assessment of personal well-being. This comparison is not performed as often as it should be in discussions of quality of life.

The survey was modest in size, but does allow some comparison between Dublin, the city’s commuter belt and a rural area, Co. Leitrim. In fact, it appears that there is fair amount of agreement on the relative rating of factors influencing quality of life. Ability to own one’s home and security of income were paramount, but respondents also placed almost equal importance on clean air and drinking water, low crime, good schools and, if of working age, a satisfying job. Where there were differences, the rural respondents appeared to place a slightly greater emphasis on key environmental attributes, while urban residents valued absolute incomes and social or leisure activity rather more.

Also available for download: