Healthcare: On the Agenda - Survey measures nation's wellbeing

In a nutshell

The first national wellbeing survey, published by the Office for National Statistics, shows being married, having a job and owning a property all contribute to happiness.

About the survey

A total of 1,800 responses were collected and will be followed up with a 'state of the nation' report later in the year. The survey was a response to Prime Minister David Cameron's call for wellbeing, as well as GDP, to be seen as a measure of the country's performance.


Three-quarters of people aged 16 and over in the UK rated overall 'life satisfaction' as seven or above. Women were more likely to report higher levels of wellbeing - but also higher levels of anxiety. Eighty-two per cent of married people gave a high or medium rating for 'life satisfaction', compared with 71.2 per cent of single people. In England and Wales, 24.3 per cent and 25.3 per cent respectively gave a low rating. Scotland (22.6 per cent) and Northern Ireland (21.6 per cent) fared better.

PR strategy

The ONS in-house team released the story to national contacts, with an emphasis on political and economics correspondents. The results were also put on Twitter and Facebook. A briefing was held at Westminster.

Media coverage

The story was picked up by The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph and Daily Mail. It appeared on the BBC's Today programme, the Six O'Clock News and Sky News, as well as online and on radio channels.

45% of unemployed people rated their life satisfaction as below seven out of ten

44.5% of people in London were anxious the day before the survey.

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