Social Indicators Research

, Volume 126, Issue 3, pp 1375–1399 | Cite as

The Structure of Subjective Well-Being and Its Determinants: A Micro-Data Study for Portugal

  • Elias SoukiazisEmail author
  • Sara Ramos


The Subjective Well-Being status has gained a growing research attention in social sciences during the last decades. The attention given by the academic world to this issue has been followed by the community in general. This line of research is still undeveloped in Portugal, and therefore needs further investigation. The purpose of this study is to analyze the determinants of Life Satisfaction and Happiness, two dimensions of Subjective Well-Being of the Portuguese citizens using micro-data from the European Quality of Life Survey. Ordinary Least Squares regressions and Ordinal Logistic models are estimated to identify the main factors that explain well-being in Portugal. We find that trust in public institutions, satisfaction with material conditions, volunteering activities and employment status have a positive and significant effect on Life Satisfaction. Our evidence also shows that satisfaction with family, satisfaction with material conditions, participation in sport activities, optimism and the marital status are relevant factors in explaining citizen’s Happiness in Portugal. The results are similar using Ordinary Least Squares or Maximum Likelihood estimation techniques on ordinal logistic models.


Factor analysis Happiness Life satisfaction Ordinal logit models Subjective Well-Being 



We are grateful to two anonymous referees for their useful comments and suggestions. We acknowledge the free access of data provided by the European Quality of Life Survey. UK Data Services at University of Essex, Colchester is the data archive. The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions is simultaneously the depositor, the principal investigator and the sponsor (


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EconomyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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