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Feb 18, 2016 | by Tricia

How the latest personal wellbeing dataset can improve policy making

Recently the Office for National Statistics published its latest estimates of personal wellbeing and a three-year analysis of wellbeing by age .

Guest post from ONS Personal Wellbeing measurement team- Links updated 

How can this new dataset can help you in your policy making and evaluation?

Where do these new estimates of personal wellbeing come from? These figures were based on responses from over 300,000 adults in the UK to the ONS four personal wellbeing questions. The responses were collected over a three-year period between 2012 and 2015 from the Annual Population Survey.

What are the benefits of this dataset over the annual one?

Case study one: How do people rate their Personal Wellbeing in your area?lifesat

There is a clear need among the policy-making community for robust estimates of personal wellbeing at a low level of geography. The three-year dataset enables a higher level of precision than is possible from annual datasets. ONS provide reference tables for personal wellbeing ratings broken down by over 10 geographical splits including health and wellbeing boards and local enterprise partnerships .

→To explore the data and find out what personal wellbeing is like broken down by Local Authority District

Case study two: At what age is Personal Wellbeing the highest? The three-year dataset also lends itself to much more detailed sub-group analysis than is possible from the annual release. Up to now, analysis had tended to group together those aged 75 and over. However, the size of this dataset allowed us to look at personal wellbeing ratings in much more detail, including a study of those aged 90 and over

ONS age wb

→How can I get hold of this dataset? The 3 year dataset is available to Government Statistical Service users through contacting the following email address: The dataset can also be accessed under special licence through the UK Data Service

→Further questions? email:


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