Most Britons 'satisfied with life'

 

The majority of British people are happy in spite of gloomy economic news and social disorder over the summer, according to new figures.

A study of well-being has shown 76% of people rated themselves as seven out of 10 or more when asked to gauge how satisfied they were with life.

The poll of 4,200 adults carried out by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed the figure rose to 78% when people were asked to rate the extent to which they feel the things they do in life are worthwhile.

A further 73% rated themselves as seven or more out of 10 when asked how happy they felt yesterday.

But more than one in four, or 27%, rated themselves above five out of 10 in a scale where zero rated as "not at all anxious" and 10 rated as "completely anxious" when answering the question "how anxious did you feel yesterday?" compared to more than half, or 57%, with ratings of less than four out of 10.

The findings from continuous polling between April and August - apart from May - are the first set of experimental results on subjective well-being from the ONS following the launch last November of the national well-being programme by David Cameron.

Stephen Hicks, ONS project leader for measuring subjective well-being, said: "We are drawing on a range of measures to encapsulate national well-being measures including the subjective well-being measures that we are publishing today.

"These are early experimental results from our opinions survey but nevertheless they give us an indication of the well-being levels within Great Britain in this case."

People polled in the survey were asked how satisfied they were with life, how happy they felt yesterday, how anxious they felt yesterday and to what extent they felt that the things they do in life are worthwhile.

The results showed that the better a person rated their health, the more likely they were to report higher ratings for life satisfaction, the extent to which the things they do in life are worthwhile and whether they were happy yesterday.

Having a partner was also positively associated with life satisfaction, worthwhile and "happiness yesterday" ratings. Ratings were lower on average for life satisfaction, worthwhileness and happiness yesterday for people who were unemployed than those who were employed or economically inactive.

The results have been released after findings were published in October by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) showing the British are one of the world's most satisfied peoples.

The ONS polling was carried out before the grim economic news on jobs and growth announced this week by Chancellor George Osborne and forecasts by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warning that average household incomes are set to drop by 7.4% in real terms between 2009/10 and 2012/13.

The survey showed younger and older people reported higher levels for life satisfaction, worthwhileness and "happy yesterday" questions on average compared with people in their middle years.

Further questions on satisfaction with different aspects of people's lives were asked in April and June.

Satisfaction with financial situation had the lowest mean score of 6.2 out of 10, followed by satisfaction with work situation at 6.7.

Overall, satisfaction with personal relationships and mental well-being had the highest mean scores at 8.3 out of 10. For people with children, the highest average was for satisfaction with their child or children's well being, at 8.7.

The initial findings come as the ONS prepares to publish a larger survey of 200,000 people next year who will have been asked the same questions.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: HR Advisor

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join an innovative a...

Recruitment Genius: Production Technician

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Production Technician is required to join a ...

Recruitment Genius: Network Support Engineer - Hosted Telecommunications

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for a Ne...

Austen Lloyd: Private Client Solicitor / Partner - Cheltenham

Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: A very rare high level opportunity with a fir...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower