1. Overview of the UK Measures of National Well-being

The Measures of National Well-being (MNW) were established in 2010. They were developed to present how we are doing in the UK as individuals, as communities, as a nation and how sustainable that is for the future.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reviewed the MNW to ensure that they still reflect what is important in the UK today and to ensure that we continue to disseminate these measures in the way that users need them.

This workplan outlines how we plan to implement the recommendations of the review, as well as the wider well-being workplan for the ONS.

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2. Our current position

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) launched the Measuring National Well-being Programme in 2010, which was designed to present how we are doing in the UK. The programme developed the Measures of National Well-being (MNW) which, after a public debate, established 10 areas of life we in the UK consider important to our lives.

Since the establishment of the MNW we have been routinely publishing updates, in our Quality of Life in the UK bulletin. Most recently we began publishing these measures alongside our Gross domestic product (GDP) quarterly national accounts bulletin and Climate change insights, health and well-being, UK article, to provide an overall outlook of how the UK is doing.

In 2022, we began a review of these measures and how we present them. This was to ensure that the measures were still representative of what matters most to people in the UK.

This review culminated in the development of the Review of the UK Measures of National Well-being (UK MNW) article, which set out the following recommendations:

  • retitle the "Measures of National Well-being" to the "UK Measures of National Well-being"

  • extend the number of measures from 44 to 60, removing 6 and adding in 22 measures, putting a greater emphasis on inequality

  • continue to publish updates to the measures, on a quarterly basis

  • develop our existing dashboard to more clearly present commentary, findings and change alongside removal of the Quality of Life in the UK bulletin

  • provide further breakdowns of the measures to better highlight inequalities within and across the UK

  • explore the need for a reduced indicator set to more easily communicate how we are doing in the UK

We plan to implement these recommendations using the following timeline:

5 July 2023

We have published:

We will also share the sign up details to our newly established mailing list for notifications of our releases.

Summer 2023

Throughout summer 2023, we will carry out question testing on the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) for five current measures where we aim to update the source, and seven of the new measures. We will also begin to explore the development of a smaller set of measures.

11 August 2023

There will be a routine update of the new dashboard, alongside our Gross domestic product (GDP) quarterly national accounts bulletin and Climate change insights, health and well-being, UK article.

November 2023

We will present the next update to the dashboard, including all 60 measures and provide disaggregations by age, sex, and region where possible. We will also publish the outcome from the development of a smaller set of measures to capture national well-being.

Throughout 2023 and 2024

We will start providing UK MNW with additional breakdowns. This will begin by extending our Personal well-being in the UK bulletin to include socio-demographic characteristics, including disability, in Autumn 2023. In Autumn 2024 this will be expanded to include all UK MNW where possible. During 2023 and 2024, we also plan to engage with stakeholders on the annual social capital release and the quarterly seasonally adjusted personal well-being estimates.

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3. Upcoming work

The UK Measures of National Well-being (UK MNW) are part of a wider well-being work programme.

As part of the wider well-being publications, throughout 2023 and into 2024 we will:

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4. Future developments

Although this review of the UK Measures of National Well-being has been carried out with a full research programme, future updates to individual measures will be implemented without needing a review. Changes will be made as research recommends it, as well as when it is necessary, for example, because of source or questionnaire changes.

Throughout 2023 and 2024, we will be gaining feedback on the future of our Social capital in the UK bulletin and our Quarterly personal well-being estimates – seasonally adjusted dataset.

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5. Provide feedback

If you would like to send us your feedback or have suggestions on the work we are doing for the UK Measures of National Well-being (UK MNW), please let us know by contacting qualityoflife@ons.gov.uk.

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6. Publication schedule

We publish regular analysis related to well-being, which include:

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8. Cite this article

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 5 July 2023, ONS website, article, UK Measures of National Well-being, current and upcoming work: July 2023

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Erthygl

Eleanor Rees
Ffôn: +44 3000 671 543