NEWS2 November 2011

ONS seeks public views on national wellbeing indicators

Government UK

UK— The Office for National Statistics has published a list of key indicators of national wellbeing, in the latest stage of its consultation.


The ONS is already asking people in surveys how satisfied they are with their lives, and it wants to start tracking factors that directly affect this, including people’s relationships, health, work and leisure activities, where they live, their personal finances, education and skills. Other factors include governance, the economy and the natural environment.

The ten proposed indicators were based on last year’s consultation about “measuring what matters”. They will be use questions in surveys including Understanding Society, the Citizenship Survey and the Labour Force Survey, together with other data such as mortality statistics, employment rates and educational achievements.

In a six-week consultation the ONS is now asking the public for their views on whether these measures paint a complete enough picture of national wellbeing.

Since April the ONS has been using the Integrated Household Survey to ask how satisfied people are with their lives. Respondents are asked to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of zero to ten, as well as how happy and how anxious they feel and the extent to which they feel the things they do in life are worthwhile.

“The aim of the programme is to develop and publish an accepted and trusted set of national statistics that helps people to understand and monitor national wellbeing,” the organisation said.

The discussion paper is available online here. The consultation runs until 23 January. The ONS plans to publish its responses in the spring.