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IS THE UK BECOMING A HAPPIER PLACE TO LIVE?
- There are many factors that influence our quality of life and well-being. In 2010, the ONS started the ‘Measuring National Well-being’ (MNW) programme in order to have a standardised monitor of well-being. The latest bulletin was published on 28th November 2018.
- At a national level, previous research has shown that how people view their health is the most important factor, followed by employment status and relationship status. At a local level, a wide range of local conditions can affect people’s well-being, with housing affordability a key issue. In particular where local house prices are too high relative to incomes, thereby preventing prospective buyers from getting on to the housing ladder and they subsequently remain in rented accommodation.
- Comparing June 2017 with June 2018 there were no significant changes to personal well-being measures (life satisfaction, feeling that things done in life are worthwhile, happiness and anxiety) in the UK, or indeed across any of its countries. Also, fewer people reported low happiness ratings and more people reported very low anxiety ratings.
- The positive changes in well-being across the UK may be influenced by the improvement in economic indicators during the 12 months, such as the unemployment rate which was at its lowest level between April and June 2018 since the period from December 1974 to February 1975, at 4%. Also, average weekly earnings for employees in Great Britain increased by 2.7%, in nominal terms, compared with a year earlier. However, in June 2018, the rate of annual house price growth was also at its lowest level since August 2013, at 3%.