Regional quality of living in Europe


  • Piet Lagas PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Frank van Dongen PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Frank van Rijn PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency
  • Hans Visser PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency



This article sets out the conceptual framework and results of Regional Quality of Living indicators that were developed in order to benchmark European NUTS2 regions. Nine non-business-related indicators are constructed to support the goal of policy makers to improve the attractiveness of regions and cities for people or companies to settle in, and by doing so create economic growth. Each of the constructed indicators represents a pillar of the Quality of Living. The highest indicator scores are found for regions within Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands. Some countries show a wide divergence between regional scores. The southern regions of Italy and Spain, for example, have significantly lower scores than those in the north. In addition, capital city regions have better RQI scores. A positive correlation was found between the average RQI scores and both GDP per capita and weighted population density. Compared to GDP per capita, weighted population density has a modest influence on the RQI score. The European regions are divided into 11 clusters, based upon GDP per capita and weighted population density in order to benchmark a region with its peers.


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How to Cite

Lagas, P., Dongen, F. van, Rijn, F. van and Visser, H. (2015) “Regional quality of living in Europe”, REGION, 2(2), pp. 1–26. doi: 10.18335/region.v2i2.43.