Baltic Sea Region Territorial Monitoring System

Self-assessed general health status

Indicator definition

The indicator “self assessed health” status is based upon ESS (European Social Survey) data, where respondents are asked the question “How is your health in general? Would you say it is “1. Very good”, “2. Good”, “3. Fair”, “4. Bad”, “5. Very bad”, “/. Refusal”, “8. Don´t know”, or “9. No answer”. Indicator defined as the regional arithmetic average of all response categories 1 through 5 (hence omitting categories 7 through 9), summarized per regional unit. Individual raw frequency data weighted by design weight which adjusts the sample bias and selection probability to match that of each country. N.b. The data are unweighted by population whereupon summarizing data for several countries is not feasible. 

Indicator importance

While the indicator on life expectancy at birth represents a theoretical approach, the indicator on self- assesed health is aiming at monitoring the personal opinions / perception of people towards the quality of the health care system in place.


Subjective health status mapped at NUTS 2 level can be described by the divide between the Nordic countries and remaining BSR. In the Nordic countries the average self-rated health status is (with the only exception - Itä-Suomi) 1.8-2.2 point level. In the remaining regions of BSR, the typical regional average tends to be 2.4-2.6. In fact, the same divide can be called an east-west one where the former East Germany belongs firmly to the east. NUTS 2 level mapping hides correlation of health ratings with peripherality at a national scale in the small Baltic States represented as one region. But in some larger countries a weak trend that in periphery the health status is rated lower can be seen.