Review of the Measures of National Well-being

Closed 9 Dec 2022

Opened 3 Oct 2022

Feedback updated 14 Feb 2023

We asked

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) undertook an engagement exercise to review the Measures of National Well-being, from 3 October to 9 December 2022 (extended from 25 November). We asked users what matters most to national well-being and sought their views on our current measures and dissemination tools, including the Measures of National Well-being dashboard.  

This engagement exercise formed part of a wider programme of work to review the Measures of National Well-being. This research will feed into a recommendations report that will be published in spring 2023. 

For further details, please see our engagement exercise summary response document.  

We appreciate the time respondents took to share their views and would like to thank them for taking part in the engagement exercise. 

You said

The engagement exercise received 120 responses from a range of stakeholders. In addition to the responses to the survey, we also received four letters in relation to the engagement exercise. 

Please note, not all respondents answered every question. 

Of the survey responses received, 82% responded on behalf of themselves, 18% on behalf of an organisation, and 1% on behalf of an informal group.  

When we asked what was most important to national well-being, the following 20 main themes emerged: 

  • subjective and emotional well-being 

  • good mental health and availability of mental health support 

  • good physical health 

  • social networks and meaningful relationships 

  • community connections, cohesion and belonging 

  • culture of care and support for each other 

  • reduction of inequalities and discrimination 

  • financial security, having money and being able to live comfortably 

  • availability of social security and welfare support 

  • quality and accessibility of public services 

  • housing that is affordable, secure and of good quality 

  • good working lives, satisfaction with jobs and work-life balance 

  • personal development opportunities 

  • pursuing hobbies, interest, and free-time activities 

  • physical safety and security of individuals and spaces 

  • access to green spaces 

  • stable economy 

  • trust that government is capable and represents the people 

  • democratic values and civic participation 

  • protection of the natural environment 

Respondents also listed other specific factors, however these were mentioned too infrequently to be grouped into themes. 

Your feedback on the measures of national well-being  

The majority of respondents said that the current measures of national well-being were representative or very representative of the well-being of individuals, communities and us as a nation, and that the bulletin, dashboard and dataset met their needs well or very well. 

A great number of responses were received when specifically asked for feedback on the measures, and suggestions for the future. For more details on this, please see the main report.  

Your use of the measures of national well-being outputs  

When asked, 56% of respondents said they did not currently use our outputs, while 44% said they use some or all of the outputs. 

Of those that use the measures, respondents most commonly cited using them for background information, their own research, and to include figures or insights in reports. 

When asked why they did not use the measures of national well-being, respondents mentioned not being aware of them, that the measures and outputs lack in relevance or quality, and presentation concerns. Other respondents highlighted that as they were now aware of the measures, they wanted to use them in the future. 

When asked to rank potential future developments in order of importance, the provision of more granular data was ranked first most often (37%), before comparability (36%) and timeliness (27%). Inclusions of additional breakdowns, inclusion of children, and improvements to data presentation and discussion were suggested as other desirable future improvements.  

Your feedback on accessibility of the measures of national well-being outputs  

Our outputs were most commonly accessed through a desktop computer and the ONS website. 

Charts and visualisations were ranked as the most important way of presenting our outputs, above numbers and data tables, and written commentaries and insights. 

When asked if they had any further feedback on our outputs, respondents mentioned improving data discussion and commentary, providing an overall assessment of change, enabling filtering and downloading of the data, and improving publicity of the dashboard.  

When asked how often they would like the dashboard, dataset and bulletin updated, quarterly was the most common response. 

Any other feedback  

We received 33 comments with research recommendations and general advice. These included 25 specific authors and research papers that the respondents recommended we consult. 

We asked if there were any specific developments our users would like to see in the measures of national well-being. The responses listed inclusion of children, greater emphasis on inequality, improved geographic coverage, and additional sub-population breakdowns.  

When asked if they had any final comments, respondents mentioned lack of coherence in the framework, the need for a higher public profile for the measures, improved policy use, and improvements to the dashboard.  

For further details, please see our engagement exercise summary response document

We did

We published the summary of responses to our review survey on 10 February 2023. 

We will be using these findings, alongside additional research undertaken to review the measures of national well-being, to inform a recommendations report that will be published in spring 2023. 

We will be continuing stakeholder engagement as part of this wider work programme to review the measures of national well-being. 

The recommendations report will include an associated implementation workplan. 

Results updated 10 Feb 2023



The Office for National Statistics (ONS) launched the Measuring National Well-being programme in 2010. As part of the programme, we held a national debate and asked the public “What matters to you?”. The 34,000 responses were used to develop the national well-being framework based on 10 domains: personal well-being, relationships, health, what we do, where we live, personal finance, economy, education and skills, governance, and environment.

The events of recent years, such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, exit from the European Union, heightened public awareness of climate change, and the rising cost of living, highlighted that the areas identified during the national debate are still important to well-being.  

However, more than a decade has passed since we began reporting on national well-being in the UK using the Measures of well-being dashboard and the indicator dataset.

We would now like to review the measures (indicators) we report on to make sure they still reflect what the UK public feels is important to their well-being as individuals, as communities and as a nation. We would also like to collect feedback on the methods and tools we use to communicate these statistics.

Your opinion will be very valuable for improving our outputs. If you have any further comments or questions, please contact:

Thank you for taking part.



  • Analysts
  • Academics
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Economists
  • Government
  • Health professionals
  • Local government
  • Operational managers
  • Policy managers
  • Politicians
  • Researchers
  • Statisticians
  • Think tanks


  • Business
  • Crime
  • Economy
  • Health
  • Labour market
  • Migration
  • Population
  • Statistics
  • Data
  • Surveys