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Glenn Everett, Director Measuring National Well-being Programme, ONS 20 June 2013, LSE, London www.ons.gov.uk/well-being Measuring National Well-being.

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Presentation on theme: "Glenn Everett, Director Measuring National Well-being Programme, ONS 20 June 2013, LSE, London www.ons.gov.uk/well-being Measuring National Well-being."— Presentation transcript:

1 Glenn Everett, Director Measuring National Well-being Programme, ONS 20 June 2013, LSE, London Measuring National Well-being in the UK

2 Agenda Background to MNW programme Programme aims Achievements so far Policy use What’s next Questions

3 “The Gross National Product counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage... It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets... (It) does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play... it measures everything except that which makes life worthwhile.” Robert Kennedy, 18 March 1968 Not that new a concept...

4 UK Prime Minister asks... “You’ve got to take practical steps to make sure government is properly focused on our quality of life as well as economic growth” “this information will help government work out, with evidence, the best ways of helping to improve people’s well- being.” David Cameron, November 2010 “Statistics are the bedrock of democracy, in a country where we care about what is happening. We must measure what matters - the key elements of national well-being. We want to develop measures based on what people tell us matters most.” Jil Matheson, November 2010

5 What are we trying to achieve? Social Environment & Sustainability The ‘triple bottom line’ Economy An accepted and trusted set of National Statistics to help people understand and monitor national well-being.

6 Why are we doing this To provide information to monitor and understand the wellbeing of the UK. Move beyond GDP as main measure of national progress. Provide policy makers information to take into account the impact on the well-being of people and the environment. Ultimately to make better decisions.

7 National debate Ran between Nov 10 & Apr 11 - ‘what matters to you?’ Held 175 events attended by 7,000+ people Generated 34,000+ responses, most online Helped identify key areas that matter most Follow on consultation Oct 11 to Jan 12 1,800 responses

8 Consultation on domains and measures We’ve listened… …to the nearly 1,800 responses to the consultation on domains and measures, which outlined broad support for approach taken We have…. …revised some of the measures in light of comments received and are continuing to evaluate feasibility of other suggestions We propose… …10 domains with 3 to 5 headline measures each, mixture of both objective and subjective measures.

9 Domains of National Well-being Sustainability Issues over time Equality/Fairness More contextual domains The Economy Governance Education and skills Natural Environment Factors directly affecting individual well- being Personal Finance Our relationshipsWhat we do Where we live Health Individual Well-Being People’s own Assessment of their own well-being (SWB)

10 What are we doing Using many existing sources (around 21) to populate the Domains. Added 4 questions on personal well-being to household surveys: Life satisfaction; Worthwhile life; Happy & Anxious yesterday. Findings analysed alongside other information to help understand impact on well-being ONS aims to inform debate and improve decision making.

11 Developments Social Experimental subjective well-being data Consultation on domains and measures Cross-cutting analyses Develop social capital estimates Environment & Sustainability UK Env Accts – Blue book Contributions to development of international standards for international accounting Consultation on measuring natural capital and ecosystems Human Capital stock estimates Economic position of households Developing non-market estimates Economy

12 What’s been published to date.. Reports on consultation. List of 10 domains and measures. First annual report: ‘Life in the UK’. Analysis of annual experimental subjective well-being dataset from the APS, 4/11 – 3/12 Interactive wheel, bar charts and maps highlighting distributions & sub-regional estimates Articles covering each of the domains – health, economy, where we live, personal finance, etc.

13 National Well-being wheel

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15 Maps

16 Charts

17 What matters most to personal well-being? Latest findings from regression analysis of personal well-being found: Self-reported health, employment status and relationship status most important aspects of personal well-being Higher earnings don’t necessarily lead to higher feelings of happiness but do increase people’s life satisfaction People in higher occupations or higher qualifications more anxious than lower occupations or qualifications Choice important – people working in a job that they are content with have higher life satisfaction than those wanting an additional or different job.

18 Policy Appraisal It is important these new measures are not just published but become part of public debate and are used to improve the development, implementation and evaluation of policies In July 2011 the Treasury and Dept for Work & Pensions updated the Green Book to include an approach that uses subjective well-being measurement, to improve social cost-benefit analysis. Social cost-benefit analysis seeks to express the full social costs and full social benefits of policies in monetary terms. Such estimates can inform options, analysis and business cases.

19 What’s next... Encourage use of well-being data in policy. Review and refine domains and measures of well-being, including assessment of change. Further research drivers of well-being. Review framework for presenting well-being data to cover sustainability, equity and sub-national information. Further development of the SWB questions. Continue to develop other indicators (eg human, social & natural capitals, non- market production, etc). Continued input on International developments (UN, OECD, EU). The programme will continue to consult widely.

20 Key messages Long-term development project – still learning – experimental outputs NOT a ‘happiness index’ Consider importance of distributions not just averages Not a single measure – need both objective and subjective data Supplements – not supplants GDP Use for better targeting of scarce resources Use for ‘Better policies for better lives’ (OECD)

21 Questions See more: ?


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