The second phase of consultation in the Office for National Statistics programme to measure the nation’s well-being has come to a close.
Nearly 1,800 people responded to ONS's consultation on a set of draft domains and headline measures of national well-being. These cover assessing our quality of life and the state of the natural environment, as well as the performance of the economy and people’s assessment of their own well-being.
The ten domains were based on findings from existing research, international initiatives and ONS's earlier national debate on 'What matters to you?' During that debate people across the UK gave their views on the things that matter to them most in life, for their individual well-being and for measuring the well-being of the UK.
To accompany people’s own assessment of their well-being (individual or subjective well-being), themes such as health, personal relationships, job satisfaction and economic security emerged. These lend themselves to the development of these domains or ‘areas’ within which potentially a very large set of measures could be chosen. The proposed measures range from life satisfaction to crime rate; satisfaction with your spouse or partner to household wealth.
During the latest phase of consultation, which was launched on 31 October 2011, ONS staff have presented at conferences, contributed to newsletters targeted at interested groups and consulted with those who had expressed an interest in well-being, including policy makers and academics. The consultation was publicised and available on the ONS website.
ONS is now reviewing all the feedback they have received to this consultation with an aim to publishing its initial findings later this month. These are the first steps in an exciting long term programme that marks a determined strategy to build on previous research in acknowledging and measuring the wider impact and context of societal progress.
Domains and headline measures are being developed as part of the Measuring National Well-being programme. ONS launched the programme in November 2010, with the aim to develop and publish an accepted and trusted set of National Statistics which help people to understand and monitor national well-being.
It is increasingly understood that traditional economic measures of progress are necessary but not sufficient to reflect a nation's overall progress or well-being. There are important societal and environmental issues that need to be considered when measuring progress.
There has been increasing interest in the UK and around the world in using wider measures of well-being to monitor progress and evaluate policy, to focus on quality of life and the environment, as well as economic growth, in assessing progress. The programme will provide evidence to help policy makers and others find out what will really improve lives.
Details of the policy governing the release of new data are available by visiting www.statisticsauthority.gov.uk/assessment/code-of-practice/index.html or from the Media Relations Office email: firstname.lastname@example.org