Personal Well-being in the UK, 2012/13

well-being-logoPersonal well-being, people’s thoughts and feelings about their own quality of life, is an important aspect of national well-being and is used by ONS to supplement other economic, social and environmental statistics to provide a statistical picture of the nation’s well-being.

Key Points

  • According to the latest findings from the ONS Annual Population Survey, there were small improvements in personal well-being in the UK between 2011/12 and 2012/13.
  • The percentage of people reporting higher levels of life satisfaction, feeling that the things they do in life are worthwhile and happiness levels all increased while the percentage reporting higher levels of anxiety declined.
  • Between 2011/12 and 2012/13 the proportion of people rating their life satisfaction as 7 or more out of 10 rose from 75.9% to 77.0%. There was also a reduction in the proportion of people rating their anxiety at a higher level of 6 or more out of 10 falling from 21.8% to 20.9%.
  • The data show differences in personal well-being between groups of the population. For example, people aged 45 to 49 rated their life satisfaction lower than any other age group and Black people lower than any other ethnic group. There were no significant changes between the years for unemployed people whose average life satisfaction remained below those in employment.

  • Other non-official sources show an improvement in personal well-being for similar periods. They also show that life satisfaction in the UK changed less between 2007 and 2011 than other European countries.
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