Wednesday, 9 March 2011

News Review – how happy is Britain?

The Office of National Statistics in the United Kingdom has released a survey asking 200 000 people to rate their life satisfaction on a scale of 0 to 10. It is the UK’s largest household survey and responses will be used as part of the ONS programme to measure national wellbeing. Questions include:

Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?

Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?

Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?

Wikiprogress has been gathering news items on the UK move to measure happiness since David Cameron’s announcement back in mid-November last year. See the special media review for all related news and blogs.

A few of my favorite articles from the media review that I want to share with you:

Happiness = Work, sleep and bicycles (BBC 25.02.2011)

Statisticians to tackle ticklish issue of happiness (The Financial Times 24.02.2011)

How are you feeling today? Let the Government know in £2m 'well-being' survey (The Mail Online 25.02.2011)

And to finish… a few fast facts on the UK that you won’t find in the media review:

The UK climbed from ranking 108th on the Happy Planet Index (HPI) in 2006 to 74th on the 2009 HPI. The UK ranks 6th in the world for GDP (IMF 2010), 31st on the 2010 Global Peace Index and 26th on the 2010 Human Development Index. The UK has a total population of 61,838,154 (World Bank 2009) and a life expectancy at birth of 80 years (World Bank 2008).

(In case you missed it, Laura Stoll from the Centre of Wellbeing at the New Economics Foundation blogged for us on last week on Measuring our progress: The power of well-being. The nef report)

Philippa Lysaght

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