Latest Public Sector News

24.07.12

More unemployed people have lower life satisfaction – ONS

Employment and owning your own house are key measures of overall wellbeing, new statistics suggest.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a series of articles reporting progress on the Measuring National Wellbeing programme. The organisation has also set out the domains and measures to be used for assessing wellbeing.

Research shows that 45% of unemployed people rate their life satisfaction as below seven out of ten, compared to just 20% for those who are employed.

A higher proportion of adults who own their own property also report a higher level of life satisfaction, around 80%, compared to those who have other leasing arrangements, where around 68% reported the same level of satisfaction.

Some 18% of those who reported good or very good health reported low satisfaction with life overall, but 38% of those with ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ health reported high or medium levels of satisfaction with life overall.

The percentage of people inWaleswho rated their life satisfaction as low or very low was 25.3%, compared with 24.3% forEnglandand 22.6% for Scotland. In Northern Ireland21.9% of people rated their life satisfaction as low or very low.

ONS wellbeing project director Glenn Everett said: “By examining and analysing both objective statistics as well as subjective information, a more complete picture of national well-being can be formed.

“Understanding people’s views of well-being is an important addition to existing Official Statistics and has potential uses in the policy making process and to aid other decision making.”

The ONS has also produced a tool kit to allow local area mapping and distribution analysis of subjective wellbeing data. More results are expected in November, when the State of the Nation report is due to be published.

The Measuring National Wellbeing programme aims to provide a fuller understanding of what influences people’s wellbeing rather than just using economic measures such as GDP.

To view the report, visit: www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_272242.pdf

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