Quality of life in the UK: November 2022

An update on the UK's progress across 10 domains of national well-being: personal well-being, relationships, health, what we do, where we live, personal finance, economy, education and skills, governance, and the environment.

This is the latest release. View previous releases

Contact:
Email Geeta Kerai, Catarina Figueira and Julia Douglas-Mann

Release date:
11 November 2022

Next release:
10 February 2023

1. Main points

  • This release provides an update on 10 of the 44 indicators across 10 domains of national well-being, using the latest data available as of October 2022.

  • The percentage of adults reporting very high levels of life satisfaction, feeling things they do in life are worthwhile, and very low levels of anxiety remained similar between the latest quarter (Quarter 2, Apr to June 2022) and the previous quarter (Quarter 1, Jan to Mar 2022), while a greater percentage of adults (32.28%) reported very high levels of happiness in the latest quarter compared with the previous quarter (30.47%).

  • In Quarter 2 2022, 10.43% of young people were not in education, employment or training, similar to Quarter 1 2022 (10.38%).

  • For Quarter 2 2022, 88.4% of adults in England aged 16 years and over reported that they engaged with arts in person (attended an event or participated in an activity) in the last 12 months, similar to Quarter 1 2022, (86.9%).

  • The UK's national disposable income per person was estimated at £6,053 in Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2020, a 14% decrease from £7,063 in Quarter 4 2019.

  • The UK's public sector net debt in the latest quarter (July to Sept 2022) reached 98.0% of gross domestic product (GDP).

  • This bulletin is accompanied by the Measures of National Well-being Dashboard: Quality of Life in the UK.

  • On 3 October 2022, we launched a review of the ONS Measures of National Well-being and you can share your feedback and contribute to the review by filling in our online survey; the survey is open until 9 December 2022.

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Estimates are from different data sources and therefore are representative for different geographies and time periods. Therefore, caution is advised when making comparisons between indicators and over time. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on data collection and people's opinions should also be considered. For more detail on data sources, see Section 3: Measuring the data.

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2. Quality of life in the UK data

Measures of National Well-being Dashboard: Quality of Life in the UK
Data dashboard | Released 11 November 2022
Data dashboard providing an overview of the UK's progress against 44 indicators across the 10 domains of national well-being. National level data, trend over time and the assessment of change are presented for each indicator. The data sources and associated insight reports for each indicator can be accessed through the dashboard by following the links in chart subtitles.

Measuring national well-being: domains and measures
Dataset | Released 11 November 2022
Latest data, time series data and detailed information for the measures of national well-being. Includes estimates for all indicators from each domain, sub-national breakdowns (where available) and links to the data sources and associated release.

Quarterly personal well-being estimates - seasonally adjusted
Dataset | Released 11 November 2022
Seasonally adjusted quarterly estimates of life satisfaction, feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety in the UK.

Quality of information for quarterly personal well-being estimates
Dataset | Released 11 November 2022
Confidence intervals and sample sizes for quarterly estimates of personal well-being in the UK.

Quarterly personal well-being estimates - non-seasonally adjusted
Dataset | Released 11 November 2022
Non-seasonally adjusted quarterly estimates of life satisfaction, feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety in the UK.

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3. Measuring the data

National well-being indicators

There are 10 domains of national well-being that the UK public told us were the areas of life that mattered most to them:

  • personal well-being
  • our relationships
  • health
  • what we do
  • where we live
  • personal finance
  • economy
  • education and skills
  • governance
  • environment

Within these 10 domains there are 44 indicators of national well-being. The indicators include both objective measures (for example, unemployment rate) and subjective measures (for example, job satisfaction) to provide a comprehensive picture of the nation's well-being and societal progress.

This release provides an update on 10 of the 44 indicators, using the latest data available as of 26 October 2022. These are:

  • People rating their overall satisfaction with their life as very high

  • People rating how worthwhile they feel the things they do in life as very high

  • People rating their happiness yesterday as very high

  • People rating their anxiety yesterday as very low

  • Unemployment rate among adults aged 16 and over (seasonally adjusted)

  • People who engaged with the arts in person in the last 12 months

  • Real net national disposable income per capita (seasonally adjusted)

  • Public sector net debt as a percentage of gross domestic product (non-seasonally adjusted)

  • Inflation rate (as measured by CPIH, all items 2015 = 100)

  • Young people Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET, seasonally adjusted)

The selection of indicators are based on the national well-being framework established by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2011, following a public consultation. Some changes to the data sources and specific indicators used, compared with previous releases, were necessary for this update to ensure data availability and comparability. We have updated three existing indicators and added three new ones to reflect the Government Statistical Service (GSS) social capital harmonised standard and improve measurement of social capital as part of national well-being.

The full set of national well-being estimates, including historical data and assessment of over-time change where possible, and the full list of indicator changes are available in the accompanying datasets. The sub-population breakdowns by country and the International Territorial Level 1 (ITL1) region, age and sex are also provided where possible.

All analysed data were known to be current as of 26 October 2022. Data sources for individual indicators can be accessed by following source links in our National well-being dashboard and our Quality of life datasets.

Data coverage

The data come from several data sources that differ in terms of covered geographies, sampled populations and periods of data collection. They are referenced throughout for each indicator and detailed in the accompanying datasets.

In 2020 and 2021, several of the data sources were affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in terms of the mode and timeliness of data collection or sample composition. Therefore, caution should be taken when making comparisons between indicators and over time.

For the indicators where the UK-wide data are not available, alternative data sources may exist for the devolved administrations (Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), but differences in methodology affect comparability of the data. For national well-being data collected by the devolved administrations, see the Scottish Government's National Indicator Performance, the Welsh Government's Wellbeing of Wales: national indicators and Wellbeing of Wales releases, and the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency's Wellbeing in Northern Ireland.

Comparability

Short-term change is assessed by comparison with the previous year, or the latest previous figure if one year comparison is not available. Long-term change is defined as change over the previous five years or, if not available, the next previous figure.

Confidence intervals are provided within the datasets alongside this release (where available). Where changes over time are presented in this bulletin, associated confidence intervals are used to assess the statistical significance of the differences.

For some of the indicators that are not based on survey data, confidence intervals are not available. In those cases, change over time has not been assessed or has been assessed based on guidance from the data owner. When interpreting the latest estimates and the presented assessments of change, the potential impact of the coronavirus pandemic on individual's attitudes and survey responses, as well as the impact on data collection, should be kept in mind, given the major disruption COVID-19 caused in people's lives.

As most of the data come from self-completion household surveys, the estimates may not be representative for individuals who do not live in private residential households.

Feedback

On 3 October 2022, we launched a review of the existing ONS Measures of National Well-being and the national well-being data communication tools. You can share your feedback and contribute to the review by filling in our online survey. The survey is open until 9 December 2022. The collected feedback will be incorporated into a recommendations report due to be published in spring 2023.

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4. Strengths and limitations

Comparisons over time and between indicators must be made with caution as the estimates come from several data sources with different geographical coverage and data collection periods (for more information see datasets).

The majority of the indicators are based on cross-sectional survey data. Information was collected from a sample of the population of interest at a point in time, and then weighted to adjust the estimates for representativeness of the population. Therefore, the estimates are subject to uncertainty, which is expressed using 95% confidence intervals (where available). This is a conservative method of assessing change, so it is possible that significant differences exist in the data that have not been identified using this method. The ONS guidance on uncertainty contains more information on how we measure and communicate uncertainty for survey data.

All analysis has been done on unrounded figures. Some figures may not sum because of rounding.

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6. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 11 November 2022, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Quality of life in the UK: November 2022

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Contact details for this Statistical bulletin

Geeta Kerai, Catarina Figueira and Julia Douglas-Mann
qualityoflife@ons.gov.uk
Telephone: +44 300 0671543