Technical Paper on Measurement of Multidimensional Quality of Life in Ireland

July 13, 2016
Social Inclusion Technical Paper No. 7

Subtitle: An analysis of the Central Statistics Office (CSO) Survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC) Special Quality of Life Module 2013.

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In this paper we develop a multidimensional Quality of Life (QoL) index using the Alkire and Foster methodology (2007, 2011a and b, Alkire et al., 2015) and the 2013 EU-SILC data for Ireland. The Index is composed of 11 equally weighted indicators covering 9 dimensions: material disadvantage, financial strain, health problems, mental distress, housing problems, neighbourhood problems, lack of social support, institutional mistrust and lack of safety. The index is calibrated around the income poverty measure. We find that 25.5 per cent of the Irish population experience 3 or more simultaneous problems in quality of life, and – on average – those with multiple quality of life problems are deprived in just over 4 of 11 indicators. In line with income poverty and deprivation measures, we find that the elderly experience lower levels of QoL deprivation, both in terms of incidence and intensity, whereas younger adults experience higher quality of life deprivation. While the level of QoL deprivation varies more by social class than age group, we find that the composition of QoL deprivation varies more by age group than by social class.