Oct 2019 – Office for National Statistics (ONS) Report – Personal Well-Being in the UK


This week the Office for National Statistics published the latest data on personal well-being for the UK.

The data measures the reported level of well-being at national and local levels.

There’s nothing like a little comparison to gauge our own levels, right?

The data focuses on several areas:

  • Life Satisfaction – overall
  • Worthwhileness – things we do having meaning
  • Happiness
  • Anxiety

Contributing factors to well-being considered in the ONS report are:

  • our mental health
  • our physical health
  • our relationships
  • our environment – home and the areas around us
  • levels of personal safety
  • our work
  • levels of incomes
  • levels of available money to save or spend
  • our sense of self-worth
  • contributions to society
  • levels of activity/exercise
  • engagement with others


The main takeaway is that it appears we’re all a little happier. Up from 7.52 to 7.56. Hoorah!

Life Satisfaction is up 3.4% from 2013 to now.

Notably, anxiety has increased in Northern Ireland by 11.9% in the last year, bringing it line with the rest of the UK. Northern Ireland generally scores far better in many wellbeing factors across the board, so this is interesting.


Examples are provided of persistently high and low well-being scores. It’s worth looking at the contributing factors in both. This may be a way of reflecting upon whether they bear any relevance in our own situation.

Figure 7 below is from the report. It illustrates the persistently high level reported scores. The report details the factors contributing to these scores.

Conversely, Figures 6 illustrates persistently reported low levels of wellbeing and the report details contributing factors for this also.



The wellbeing data is reported up to March 2019. The next report will be in November. I’ll be very interested to see the next report considering the current situation in the country. What effect is this having?

The link below will take you straight to the online report.




Wheel of Life – Pocket Coach App – Android and Apple

In 2012 I created the Wheel of Life App which covers many of the areas the wellbeing report touches upon, e.g. work, relationships, environment, wealth, activity, community, etc.

The app allows us to score how we rate these important wellbeing factors as we perceive them now PLUS (which is something many maps of this type do not do) it allows us to state how we would like each area to score. It’s also possible to personalise the generic name of each area into something more personal and meaningful.

The app maps the scale and size of the two “now” and “desired” scores making it easier to understand how small or large that difference is. Based on that visual feedback we gain insight and we can take actions which we feel are right. It’s also possible to make notes within the app and set reminders to review this again.

It’s good to measure what matters in our lives and the app is an easy way to map our wellbeing which I’m delighted to see is finally getting the recognition and attention it deserves.

Wheel of Life on Android

Wheel of life on iTunes

Reflection Exercises

In addition to the Wheel of Life app, the annual reflection exercises are also helpful in assessing progress, change and our feelings around what’s happening with us.

michael laffey life coach, life coach sussex, michael laffey, east sussex, brighton, hove, worthing, lancing, lewes, eastbourne