Quality of life drops in Jersey as islanders struggle with health, housing, money and government

A couple walking down high street in Guernsey with their masks on.
41 nations take part in the Better Life Index which rates countries by how citizens view their own lives. Credit: ITV Channel TV

A new report shows how quality of life in Jersey has fallen since the start of the Covid pandemic. 

Since 2019 the island has dropped five places on an index which ranks nations according to 11 well-being factors - with Jersey faring worse in almost every category including life satisfaction, personal safety and housing.

41 nations around the world take part in the Better Life Index which rates countries by how citizens view their own lives.

Jersey Government Statistician Matt Gill said: “This is looking at an international context, so it's saying OK, this has got better but how's it done in the rest of the world.

"If it's got better in the rest of the world then that's just a global thing that's happening.

"Some of the indicators are a bit worse like employment because they're looking at 2020 but most countries also saw their employment rates get worse because of the pandemic.”

Overall Jersey ranked 24th out of 41 which is below average and lower than the UK and France.

Since 2019 Jersey ranking has dropped in the following eight categories:      

  • Income        

  • Jobs and earnings      

  • Housing        

  • Health status      

  • Work-life balance

  • Environment quality         

  • Personal safety

  • Life satisfaction

Most noticeably, Jersey fell seven places when it came to the number of people who felt they were in good health.

This report does not provide context, so whether that decline in health is due to an ageing population, the pandemic, the health service or other factors is unclear.

Jersey fared poorly when it came to income and housing as salaries have not risen in line with the cost of living.

The island was the worst performer when it came to civic engagement which is measured by the percentage of the population who vote.  

The report also revealed that the public had little confidence in the government.

Mr Gill said voter apathy could indicate that life satisfaction will continue to be low as when more people vote they get a government that is more representative of the population and more likely to make policies in line with their views.

Guernsey does not take part in the Better Life Index.