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29 Oct 2019

No improvement in personal wellbeing among UK population
BY Tom Walker

People in London continued to report some of the lowest average life satisfaction in the UK

People in London continued to report some of the lowest average life satisfaction in the UK

There has been no improvement in the way the UK population feels about its personal wellbeing in the past year.

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) chart personal wellbeing levels in the UK for the 12 months to March 2019.

The report offers insight into wellbeing in all of the UK's constituent parts – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It shows that the only significant change at country level was a negative one in Northern Ireland, where there was an 11.9 per cent increase in anxiety ratings in Northern Ireland, from 2.53 to 2.83 (out of 10).

The increased anxieties in the region are likely to be related to the Brexit chaos and the resulting worries about the future of Northern Ireland's status.

Capital city London continued to report some of the lowest average life satisfaction in the UK in the year ending March 2019 – 7.58 compared to the UK average of 7.71.

Long-term, however, there has been a slight improvement in the average life satisfaction ratings in the UK. From 2013 – when the UK was still in the grips of austerity measures – to 2019, the overall personal wellbeing rate has nudged up by 3.4 per cent.

The personal wellbeing measures were first collected in England, Scotland and Wales at local level in April 2011, while in Northern Ireland in April 2012. The first year from which the ONS has a full UK baseline at local level is the year ending March 2013.

The figures were published just months after an influential report by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Wellbeing Economics stated that personal wellbeing should be the primary focus for the UK government's spending plans.

The report called on the government to ditch economic growth as the principal aim and, instead, boost funding for mental health services, teaching in schools and social care by an extra £10bn within five years to raise the wellbeing of citizens.

• To read the full report and download the data used in the report, click here for the ONS website.



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