May 18, 2018
New government statistics suggest that the general wellbeing and happiness of the UK population has increased over the last twelve months. According to the Office for National Statistics’ annual report on wellbeing, Britons are more contented now than at any point since the study was first published seven years ago. The latest report is based on an analysis of responses to the ONS, which asked people to rank out of ten how happy they were on the previous day, to what extent they regarded their lives as worthwhile, how satisfied they were with life, and how anxious they were generally. For 2017, average happiness was calculated at 7.53 out of ten, living worthwhile lives at 7.88, and life satisfaction at 7.69. There was no significant change in anxiety levels, which currently average at 2.91 out of ten, the ONS said.
However, there were clear regional differences in the data. Although scores in Scotland increased across all three factors, people in Wales reported higher levels of unhappiness. For the UK as a whole, happiness has increased by more than 3 per cent since 2011, according to the figures, with similar upward moves for the other positive categories.
According to the ONS: ‘Between the years ending December 2016 and 2017, there were improvements in average ratings of happiness and feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile for the UK overall. There were no significant changes in average ratings of life satisfaction or anxiety. Improvements in worthwhile and happiness ratings in the UK were driven by Scotland,’ the report said, adding that ‘average life satisfaction ratings also improved for Scotland; however, there were no significant changes for ratings of anxiety.’
‘A larger proportion of people in Wales reported low levels of life satisfaction, worthwhile and happiness compared to the UK average. For example, 4.3 per cent of people in Wales reported a score of nought to four for their worthwhile ratings compared with only 3.4 per cent in the whole of the UK.’