The impact of energy consumption on quality of life in the world: methodological aspects of evaluation

Economic Annals-ХХI: Volume 184, Issue 7-8, Pages: 29-37

Citation information:
Makarova, O., Kalashnikova, T., & Novak, I. (2020). The impact of energy consumption on quality of life in the world: methodological aspects of evaluation. Economic Annals-XXI, 184(7-8), 29-37. doi:

Olena Makarova
D.Sc. (Economics),
Corresponding Member of the NAS of Ukraine,
Senior Researcher, Deputy Director,
Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies of the NAS of Ukraine
60 Taras Shevchenko Blvd., Kyiv, 01032, Ukraine

Tetiana Kalashnikova
PhD (Economics),
Senior Researcher,
Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies of the NAS of Ukraine
60 Taras Shevchenko Blvd., Kyiv, 01032, Ukraine

Iryna Novak
PhD (Economics),
Senior Researcher,
Ptukha Institute for Demography and Social Studies of the NAS of Ukraine
60 Taras Shevchenko Blvd., Kyiv, 01032, Ukraine

The impact of energy consumption on quality of life in the world: methodological aspects of evaluation

Abstract. The high quality of life in the modern sense is directly related to energy consumption and associated with the provision of «clean» food products and environment, comfortable housing, public and private transport. Increasing the availability of energy for the developing countries allows their residents to live longer and more comfortably. At the same time, in the developed European countries with high quality of life, energy consumption is decreasing due to the implementation of energy efficiency and energy saving policies. The Human Development Index, the world’s best-known and most widely used integrated assessment of quality of life, does not include energy consumption indicators.

The aim of our research is to study the relationship between energy consumption and quality of life, and prove the need to consider energy consumption indicators in order to improve the methodology framework for assessing quality of life. Using the method of cluster analysis, 77 countries of the world are grouped according to a set of indicators that characterize income, energy consumption, use of renewable energy sources, and CO2 emissions. As a result, the relationship between the level of human development, which is a universal characteristic of quality of life, and these indicators was identified and evaluated.

It has been proved that the most prosperous countries in terms of quality of life and energy use are those in which relatively low indicators of primary energy consumption and CO2 emission are combined with high incomes and human development level. The progressive structure of energy consumption ensures the achievement of a higher quality of living, while high energy consumption is not a sufficient condition for this. Against the background of low levels of total primary energy consumption and GDP per capita, CO2 emissions, as well as a low share of renewable energy in total energy consumption, high quality of life is present mainly in the «new» EU member states, which provide it through rational energy consumption.

The average level of human development is inherent in a group of countries of the former USSR (which includes Ukraine), as well as some countries in Latin America, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. At the same time, countries such as China and South Korea are reducing energy consumption owing to technological progress and have a positive dynamics of human development indicators. Instead, low levels of energy consumption in the former Soviet Union and Latin America are due to insufficient sustainability of economic and social development, human development in particular. The obtained results substantiate the need to improve the methodology for assessing the quality of life taking into consideration energy consumption indicators.

Keywords: Energy Consumption; Quality Of Life; Human Development; Renewable Energy; Clustering; Evaluation

JEL Classіfіcatіon: I31; L94; Q43; Q53

Acknowledgements and Funding: The authors received no direct funding for this research.

Contribution: The authors contributed equally to this work.



  1. Abbott, P., & Wallace, C. (2012). Social Quality: A Way to Measure the Quality of Society. Social Indicators Research, 108(1), 153-167.
  2. Alkire, S., & Foster, J. (2011). Counting and multidimensional poverty measurement. Journal of Public Economics, 95(7-8), 476-87.
  3. Bérenger, V., & Verdier-Chouchane, A. (2007). Multidimensional Measures of Well-Being: Standard of Living and Quality of Life Across Countries. World Development, 35(7), 1259-1276.
  4. Bouzarovski, S., & Tirado Herrero, S. (2015). The energy divide: Integrating energy transitions, regional inequalities and poverty trends in the European Union. European Urban and Regional Studies, 24(1), 69-86.
  5. Brown, J. H., Burger, J. R., Burnside, W. R., Chang, M., Davidson, A. D., Fristoe, T. S., Hamilton, M. J., Hammond, S. T., Kodric-Brown, A., Mercado-Silva, N., Nekola, J. C., & Okie, J. G. (2013). Macroecology Meets Macroeconomics: Resource Scarcity and Global Sustainability. Ecological Engineering, 65, 24-32.
  6. Byuyul, A., & Tsofel, P. (2005). SPSS: the art of information processing. Analysis of statistical data and restoration of hidden patterns. Transl. from Germ. St. Petersburg: Diasoft UP LLC (in Russ.).
  7. Centre for Human Technologies. (2020). Rating of countries in the world by the level of electricity consumption. (in Russ.)
  8. Day, R., Walker, G., & Simcock, N. (2016). Conceptualising energy use and energy poverty using a capabilities framework. Energy Policy, 93, 255-264.
  9. Duran, B., & Odel, P. (1977). Cluster analysis. (E. Z. Demidenko, Trans.). A. I. Boyarsky (Ed.). Moscow: Statistics (in Russ.).
  10. Eurofound. (2016). European Quality of Life Survey 2016 – Data visualization.
  11. Eurostat. (2019). Quality of life indicators – measuring quality of life.
  12. Gitis, P. Kh. (2003). Statistical classification and cluster analysis. Moscow: Moscow State Mining University (in Russ.).
  13. Gouveia, J. P., Palma, P., & Simoes, S. G. (2019). Energy poverty vulnerability index: A multidimensional tool to identify hotspots for local action. Energy Reports, 5, 187-201.
  14. Jorgenson, A. K., Alekseyko, A., & Giedraitis, V. (2014). Energy consumption, human well-being and economic development in Central and Eastern European nations: A cautionary tale of sustainability. Energy Policy, 66, 419-427.
  15. Lambert, J. G., Hall, Ch. A. S., Balogh, S., Gupta, A., & Arnold, M. (2014). Energy, EROI and quality of life. Energy Policy, 64, 153-167.
  16. Llera-Sastresa, E., Scarpellini, S., Rivera-Torres, P., Aranda, J., Zabalza-Bribián, I., & Aranda-Usón, A. (2017). Energy Vulnerability Composite Index in Social Housing, from a Household Energy Poverty Perspective. Sustainability, 9(5), 691.
  17. Magee, L., Scerri, A., & James, P. (2012). Measuring Social Sustainability: A Community-Centred Approach. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 7, 239-261.
  18. Martin, M. (1980). Economic and Social Indicators of Development, by Income Groups and by Region. In V. Smil & W. E. Knowland (Eds.), Energy in the Developing World: the real energy crisis (pp. 372-386). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  19. Murphy, D. J., & Hall, Ch. A. S. (2010). Year in review – EROI or energy return on (energy) invested. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 1185(1), 102-118.
  20. Nadimi, R. (2019). Relationship Between Quality of Life and Energy Usag. Singapore: Springer.
  21. Okushima, Sh. (2017). Gauging energy poverty: A multidimensional approach. Energy, 137, 1159-1166.
  22. Romero, J. C., Linares, P., & López, X. (2018). The policy implications of energy poverty indicators. Energy Policy, 115, 98-108.
  23. Sen, A., Fitoussi, J. P., & Stiglitz, J. (2010). Mismeasuring Our Lives: Why GDP Doesn’t Add Up. The New Press.
  24. Smil, V. (2017). Energy and Civilization: A History. Boston: The MIT Press.
  25. Sokołowski, J., Lewandowski, P., Kiełczewska, A., & Bouzarovski, S. (2020). A multidimensional index to measure energy poverty: the Polish case. Energy Sources, Part B: Economics, Planning, and Policy, 15(2), 92-112.
  26. Sovacool, B. K. (2011). Conceptualizing urban household energy use: Climbing the «Energy Services Ladder». Energy Policy, 39(3), 1659-1668.
  27. Thomson, H., & Snell, C. (2013). Quantifying the prevalence of fuel poverty across the European Union. Energy Policy, 52, 563-572.
  28. UNDP. (1990). Human Development Report 1990. New York: Oxford University Press.