Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain: 26 July to 6 August 2023

Social insights on daily life and events, including estimates from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) relating to the important issues facing society today.

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Email Katie Hendry, Joe Shepherd, Jodie Davis and Tim Vizard

Release date:
11 August 2023

Next release:
25 August 2023

1. Main points

The following information is for the latest survey period 26 July to 6 August 2023, based on adults in Great Britain.

  • When asked about the important issues facing the UK today, the most commonly reported issues continued to be the cost of living (93%), the NHS (85%), the economy (72%), climate change and the environment (69%) and housing (61%).

  • Among those currently paying rent or a mortgage, almost half (47%) reported that their rent or mortgage payments had gone up in the past six months.

  • Among those currently paying rent or a mortgage, almost 4 in 10 (38%) reported finding it very or somewhat difficult affording these payments; this was around 3 in 10 (29%) in early August 2022.

  • Over half (56%) of adults reported that their cost of living had increased compared with a month ago, while 41% reported it had stayed the same and 2% said it had decreased.

  • When asked about what people are doing because of the increases in the cost of living, over two-thirds (69%) said they were spending less on non-essentials, while around half were shopping around more (53%) and using less fuel such as gas or electricity in their homes (51%).

  • Among adults who tried to make contact with a GP practice for themselves or someone else in the last month, almost 4 in 10 (37%) found it very difficult or difficult, while 42% found it easy or very easy.

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3. Measuring the data

This release contains data and indicators from the Office for National Statistics' (ONS's) Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).

From the 16 June 2023 release onwards, we have made changes that reduce the scope of the release and accompanying datasets. This is based on a routine review of the relevance and usefulness of this release.

Breakdowns by age and sex are no longer provided for fortnightly estimates in the latest Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain datasets. All previous versions of the dataset remain available from this page. Estimates from the OPN by these and other personal characteristics will continue to be provided on a regular basis in other ONS releases. For example, OPN estimates relating to the impact of cost of living among different sub-groups of the population are provided within the regular Impact of increased cost of living on adults across Great Britain series.

Confidence intervals are provided for all estimates in the datasets. Where changes in results from previous weeks are presented in this release, or comparisons between estimates are made, associated confidence intervals should be used to assess the statistical significance of the differences.

Sampling and weighting

In the latest period (26 July to 6 August 2023), we sampled 4,990 households. This sample was randomly selected from people who had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS) or OPN. The responding sample for the latest period contained 2,509 individuals, representing a 50.3% response rate.

Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on ONS population estimates). Further information on the survey design and quality can be found in our Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Quality and Methodology Information (QMI).

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5. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 11 August 2023, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain: 26 July to 6 August 2023

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Katie Hendry, Joe Shepherd, Jodie Davis and Tim Vizard
Telephone: +44 300 0671543