Need 2 Know: Measuring Wellbeing

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Published: March 2011

This briefing provides a basic 'need to know' introduction to measuring wellbeing. It looks at various definitions of wellbeing, summarises previous work on measuring wellbeing across the UK, and sets out the potential benefits of creating authoritative wellbeing indicators.

There is a wealth of evidence that positive wellbeing influences a wide range of outcomes for individuals and communities, including better physical and mental health, higher educational attainment and more social cohesion. There is also an increasingly strong body of evidence that in order to increase levels of societal and individual wellbeing, there needs to be a reduction in socio-economic inequalities.

This briefing describes the Coalition Government's proposals to measure success in the UK not solely in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), but in terms of overall 'national wellbeing' and the Office of National Statistics (ONS) consultation process on how this might be measured.