The period 2007–2012, covered by the second European Quality of Life Survey (EQLS), was a critical time for Croatia, with EU integration on the horizon and the effects of the recession impacting on all strands of society. This report compares recent changes and trends in Croatia during this period with those in the rest of the EU, focusing on several key aspects of quality of life: standard of living, housing, employment, work–life balance, health and healthcare and quality of public institutions. It also charts people’s perceptions regarding social tensions, social exclusion, life satisfaction and happiness. While the findings reveal a lower standard of living overall in Croatia compared to the EU28 – almost a third of people reporting difficulties in making ends meet – as well as high levels of unemployment and job insecurity, there are positive developments in several areas: quality of housing, family life, subjective well-being and improved health and access to health services.
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