1. Introduction

Measuring National Well-being (MNW) is about looking at “GDP and beyond” to measure what really matters to people. The MNW programme began in November 2010 with the aim to “develop and publish an accepted and trusted set of National Statistics which help people understand and monitor well-being”. We describe well-being as “how we are doing” as individuals, as communities and as a nation, and how sustainable this is for the future.

Personal well-being (sometimes referred to as “subjective well-being”) is one of many ways in which the MNW programme aims to assess the progress of the nation.

Office for National Statistics uses four survey questions to measure personal well-being as illustrated in Table 1. People are asked to respond to the questions on a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is “not at all” and 10 is “completely”.

Monitoring personal well-being across the nation helps to show how people feel their quality of life changes and this can be related to changes in circumstance, policies and wider events in society. More information on personal well-being can be found in the user guidance.

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2. Surveys that include the four Office for National Statistics personal well-being questions

A list of surveys that include the four Office for National Statistics (ONS) personal well-being questions is provided in this section. Information for each survey has been collected by engaging with the users of our personal well-being data and publications and researching the internet.

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3. Contact us

These questions provide a harmonised standard for measuring personal well-being. As with other harmonised standards, our goal is to have them widely used to promote consistency and comparative findings. To that end, they are freely available to others and their use is encouraged.

If you are aware of any other sources using the four Office for National Statistics (ONS) personal well-being questions, or of any analysis that has been completed using these measures of personal well-being, please contact the Quality of Life team by email at QualityOfLife@ons.gov.uk. Alternatively, if you wish to use the ONS personal well-being questions in your own survey and would like some advice, please get in touch.

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