The European Social Survey (ESS) reveals that Estonians have the least active social lives in Europe.
If we consider the number of social contacts per person, Estonia shares the bottom spot with Lithuania and Hungary. According to the index, the Scandinavians have the strongest and former Soviet countries the weakest social networks. However, the differences within Europe are really rather small.
In Estonia, women tend to be more active communicators than men. Young people too interact more with friends, relatives, acquaintances and colleagues, than older people do.
The index takes into account the following factors:
- How often the respondents spend time with friends, relatives and colleagues.
- With how many people the respondents discuss their private matters.
- How often, compared to people in the same age-group, do the respondents take part in meetings and events.
- How many people will support the respondents emotionally or financially, should such need arise.
- How much will the respondents support and aid other people, should such need arise.
ESS is a multi-country survey covering over 20 nations. Estonia joined the ESS in 2004 and has participated in all five rounds since then. The study is coordinated in Estonia by the Institute of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Tartu.
The information on social life is drawn from the 2012 round of the survey.
Editor: M. Oll