BRITONS are now more satisfied with their lives, reporting an
increased sense of well-being, despite falling income levels and
worsening health, new research from the Office for National
Statistics (ONS) has found. The ONS, which has been measuring
well-being since 2010, uses a range of measures to estimate the
The new statistics found that, in 2012-13, 77 per cent of adults
aged 16 and over rated their life satisfaction at between seven and
ten out of ten, whereas in 2011-12 it was 75.9 per cent. Across
Europe, the average number of those expressing high
life-satisfaction was 69.3 per cent, although Denmark scored
Eighty per cent of Britons thought that the things they did in
their lives were worth while. Teenagers and the newly retired
(those aged 65-79) were more likely to rate their sense of personal
well-being highly, compared with people in midlife (45-54). Women
tended to have a higher life-satisfaction than men, as did people
in the south-west of England compared with those in the
Happy relationships are central to a sense of well-being, and 87
per cent of people said that they had friends or relatives they
could rely on if they had a serious problem. But fewer people in
the survey felt they belonged in their communities, down from 66 to
62.9 per cent.
The number of people satisfied with their health had fallen.
More people in their 20s and 30s said they were finding it very
difficult to get by financially, and one in ten said they were
struggling - a slight drop from 12.3 per cent in 2009-10.
Less than one in four Britons trust the Government, but this is
slightly higher than the EU average: in Spain it is just nine per
The ONS said: "The report shows that the UK ranks above the EU
average in life satisfaction, trust in government, and satisfaction
with accommodation." But "it is below the EU average on making ends
meet, perceived health status, and support if needing advice about
a serious personal or family matter."