Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain: 8 to 19 May 2024

Social insights on daily life and events from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN) relating to the biggest issues facing society today.

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Cyswllt:
Email The Policy Evidence and Analysis team

Dyddiad y datganiad:
24 May 2024

Cyhoeddiad nesaf:
7 June 2024

1. Main points

The following information is for the latest survey period, 8 to 19 May 2024, based on adults in Great Britain.

  • When asked about the important issues facing the UK today, the most commonly reported issues were the cost of living (87%), the NHS (85%), the economy (68%), climate change and the environment (61%), crime (59%) and housing (58%).

  • Immigration (54%), international conflict (50%) and education (46%) were other commonly reported important issues facing the UK today.

We also continued to ask about people's experiences of the cost of living.  

  • Just over half of adults (55%) reported that their cost of living had increased over the last month, 42% said their cost of living had remained the same, and 3% said it had decreased.

Among adults who told us that their cost of living had increased over the last month:

  • rises in the price of their food shopping (94%), their fuel (61%) and their gas and electricity bills (53%) continue to be the most commonly reported reasons for an increase in their cost of living

  • the proportion reporting that the price of their gas or electricity bills had increased (53%) has gradually fallen since the start of 2024 (85% in the period 4 to 14 January 2024)

  • the proportion reporting that the price of their fuel had increased (61%) has gradually risen since the start of 2024 (41% in the period 4 to 14 January 2024)

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3. Measuring the data

This release contains data and indicators from the Office for National Statistics' (ONS's) Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN).

Breakdowns by age and sex have been provided for fortnightly estimates since our 27 March to 7 April 2024 edition of the Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain datasets. Before this, breakdowns by age and sex were reported until the 17 to 29 May 2023 edition of all datasets. This is based on routine review of the relevance and usefulness of this release.

Estimates from the OPN by a variety of personal characteristics are provided on a regular basis in other ONS releases. For example, OPN estimates relating to the impact of the cost of living among different sub-groups of the population are provided within the regular Impact of increased cost of living on adults across Great Britain series.

For all estimates in the datasets, confidence intervals are provided. Where changes in results from previous weeks are presented in this release, or comparisons between estimates are made, associated confidence intervals should be used to assess the statistical significance of the differences. 

Sampling and weighting

In the latest period (8 to 19 May 2024), we sampled 4,989 households. This sample was randomly selected from people who had previously completed the Labour Market Survey (LMS) or OPN. The responding sample for the latest period contained 2,616 individuals, representing a 52% response rate. This response rate is higher than in previous periods, likely as a result of an unconditional non-financial incentive (items of stationery) to participate being added to the survey in the latest period.

Survey weights were applied to make estimates representative of the population (based on ONS population estimates). Because of sampling changes in July 2023, some groups in our unweighted sample may be over-represented (for example, older adults).

Estimates for some groups of the population may be subject to greater uncertainty because of smaller sample sizes for these groups (for example, younger adults).

Further information on the survey design and quality can be found in our Opinions and Lifestyle Survey Quality and Methodology Information (QMI).

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5. Cite this statistical bulletin

Office for National Statistics (ONS), released 24 May 2024, ONS website, statistical bulletin, Public opinions and social trends, Great Britain: 8 to 19 May 2024

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Manylion cyswllt ar gyfer y Bwletin ystadegol

The Policy Evidence and Analysis team
policy.evidence.analysis@ons.gov.uk
Ffôn: +44 3000 671543