Latest UK well-being stats: what do they tell us?

Photo credit:   tricky (rick harrison)

October 23, 2013 // By: Saamah Abdallah

Almost a year ago we revealed striking patterns for well-being in the UK, based on the Office for National Statistics’ Annual Population Survey. We found big differences in well-being between those parts of the country that were doing best and those that were doing worst. 

For example, whilst only one in five (20%) people had low well-being on the Islands of Scotland, the proportion was almost double that (37%) in parts of the Welsh valleys. We also found there is more to well-being than material living standards. According to the ONS, Hull and Blackpool are at similar levels of material deprivation. And yet the proportion of people with high well-being in the former town is 17% higher.

Today, the ONS has provided more detailed breakdowns, allowing us to look at well-being right down to the Local Authority level across the UK. Data is available for both 2011/12 and 2012/13, creating an evidence goldmine for local authorities and health and well-being boards.

Which areas have the highest well-being? Which areas have the lowest well-being? And which areas have seen the biggest drops or rises in well-being over the last year? We’ve only just started exploring the data, but our initial findings show that:

These are all preliminary analyses, and proper analysis will require the micro-data which the ONS will release in six weeks’ time. These initial findings raise some questions though (and hopefully some answers as well) for local authorities looking to navigate the challenging times ahead, and striving to improve the well-being of their residents despite severe budget cuts.

Issues

Wellbeing

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