You asked

Please provide all internal reports concerning which statistics, indicators or other measurements to include within the UK National Well-Being Index from January 1st 2012 to date.

We said

Thank you for your FOI request (FOI2935) for internal reports concerning which statistics, indicators or other measures were included as part of the UK's Measuring National Well-being Programme.

In 2010, the UK's Office for National Statistics began developing measures of national well-being. The aim was to provide a fuller picture of how society is doing by supplementing existing economic, social and environmental measures. Throughout the development process a conscious decision was taken to remain transparent. To that end, the office published all material concerning how indicators were selected via reports made available on its website. No internal reports were prepared as part of the decision making process.

The indicators themselves were based on: responses to the open national debate on ‘What matters to you?’ (which took place between November 2010 and April 2011); existing research and international initiatives. A further consultation was then undertaken to gather feedback on whether the domains and measures proposed reflected the broad scope of well-being, were easy to understand and whether individuals thought that there should be additions or changes. Indicators remain under constant scrutiny in light of the changing society within which we live alongside changes to data availability. In line with previous protocol, we continue to make available information surrounding any decisions concerning indicator changes through published material on our website.

I provide below a few links to content and reports which relate both to our initial selection of indicators and any subsequent changes. These include information on the outcome of our open consultations.

National Statistician’s Reflections on the National Debate on Measuring National Well-being: This article summarises the key findings from the national well-being debate and outlines the next steps in measuring national well-being.


Findings from the national well-being debate: This is a supplementary paper to the “National Statistician's reflections on the national debate on Measuring National Well-being”.


Developing a framework for understanding and measuring national well-being: This is a supplementary paper to the “National Statistician's reflections on the national debate on Measuring National Well-being”


Measuring National Well-being - discussion paper on domains and measures: This paper discusses proposals for domains and headline measures of national well-being resulting from the responses to the national debate on Measuring National Well-being, research into well-being and related international initiatives.


National Well-being Measures, September 2014: The biannual update to the national well-being measures, including a section explaining any changes to the measures and the reasons behind these since the last publication in March 2014.


National Well-being Measures, September 2016: The most recent report on the headline indicators of national well-being, published on 22/09/2016. Please refer to background note 1 for a section dedicated to outlining any changes to indicators and the reasons behind these.


Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any further help.