Measuring quality of life in Spanish municipalities

  1. González Fidalgo, Eduardo 1
  2. Cárcaba García, Ana 1
  3. Ventura Victoria, Juan 1
  4. García García, Jesús 1
  1. 1 Universidad de Oviedo

    Universidad de Oviedo

    Oviedo, España


Notas técnicas: [continuación de Documentos de Trabajo FUNCAS]

ISSN: 1988-8767

Year of publication: 2009

Issue: 469

Type: Working paper

More publications in: Notas técnicas: [continuación de Documentos de Trabajo FUNCAS]


Measuring quality of life in municipalities entails two empirical challenges. First, collecting a set of relevant indicators that can be compared across the municipalities in the sample. Second, using an appropriate aggregating tool in order to construct a synthetic index. This paper measures quality of life for the largest 237 Spanish municipalities using 19 indicators using Value Efficiency Analysis (VEA) to derive the comparative scores. VEA is a refinement of DEA (Data Envelopment Analysis) that imposes some consistency in the weights of the indicators used to construct the aggregate index. The indicators cover aspects related to consumption, social services, housing, transport, environment, labour market, health, culture and leisure, education and security. The results show that the Northern and Central regions in Spain attain the highest levels of quality of life, while the Southern regions report low living conditions. Education is the variable that requires the largest improvement in low performing municipalities, followed health and culture facilities, pollution and crime. Population density, growth and ageing seem to positively relate to quality of life.