The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has just announced the UK’s happiness index for 2012-13.
It seems we are now a far more happier nation than last year which is a good sign of recovery for the economy. The Happiness index states that people are suffering less from stress and anxiety and general well-being is up.
Between 2011/12 and 2012/13 there was an overall improvement in life satisfaction with the proportion of people rating their life satisfaction as 7 or more out of 10 rising from 76% to 77%. There was an overall reduction in anxiety levels, the number of people rating their anxiety at a higher level of 6 or more out of 10 fell from 22% to 21%.
There were smaller increases in the percentage of people giving ratings of 7 to 10 for feeling that things they do are worthwhile and for their happiness levels, from 80% to 81% and 71% to 72% respectively.
People aged 45 to 54 rated their life satisfaction, worthwhile and happiness levels on average lower than any other age group. Those aged 65 to 79 had the highest levels of worthwhile and happiness but those aged 80 and over had lower average levels of personal well-being. One reason for the reduction in personal well-being in later years could be because of higher levels of loneliness among this age group.
The findings on ethnicity show that life satisfaction is highest among White and Indian people and lowest among Black people. This is consistent with the findings from 2011/12 with Black people rating their life satisfaction lower than any other ethnic group.
There were small but statistically significant reductions in average anxiety levels of those who say their health is ‘very good’, ‘good’ or ‘fair’, but no significant change among those who say their health is ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’.
Although there were small improvements in personal well-being among those who are employed or economically inactive, there were no significant changes in personal well-being among unemployed people.
Those who work part-time because their choices have been constrained by illness, disability or perceived inability to get a full-time job have lower average personal well-being than those who worked part-time for other reasons.
These statistics were compiled and analysed as part of the ONS Measuring National Well-being programme. They have also produced a nice info-graphic which is below for a more visual (albeit a bit basic) overview. If you’d like to find out more about the latest national well-being statistics, read the full bulletin.