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Release: Insights across Society, the Economy and the Environment, Reflections on Measuring National Well-being, July 2014

Released: 22 July 2014
  • National well-being is more than the state of all individuals well-being. It is also concerned with how national level factors, for example, information about the economy, the environment or governance relate to society as a whole.


  • A more rounded assessment of changes in the economy and their impact on living standards is provided by looking at measures such as GDP per capita and Real net national disposable income (RNNDI) per capita alongside GDP.


  • Better decisions on what affects our quality of life can be made by examining facts based information covering a range of topics, for example, our health and our finances, alongside how people think and feel about individual aspects within these areas and their lives overall.


  • Focusing only on today’s well-being may have an adverse effect on the environment. Understanding current stocks of human, natural, physical and social capital as well as the impact of the economy on the environment is vital for ensuring sustainability for future generations.


  • Substantial progress has been made in embedding the concept of well-being in UK policy and the UK is internationally recognised for its work in this area.


  • The Measuring National Well-being Programme has identified and developed a wide range of evidence in support of existing theories, for example, health being the strongest association with personal well-being; as well as new insights, for example, that expenditure is more important to our personal well-being than income.  More work is needed to further develop and translate evidence into action.


Measures of National Well-being. Drawing social and economic data from government and other organisations; painting a picture of UK society and how it changes.
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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