PEOPLE from black ethnic groups in the UK are less happy than
those from white British, Chinese, or Indian ethnic backgrounds,
who are the most likely to say that their lives feel worth while,
the largest survey of national well-being ever undertaken suggests.
People with an Arab or mixed ethnic background are much less likely
to say that they are happy, the survey has found.
The data was collected by the Office for National Statistics
(ONS) as part of a three-year study measuring personal well-being
in the UK. When the data was broken down by religion, Christians
emerged as having the highest life-satisfaction and happiness
levels, followed by Jewish people. Muslims and Buddhists were found
to be the least happy, after those who said that they had no
religion at all.
Christians and Jewish people are most likely to report that they
feel that the things they do in life are worth while, whereas
Muslims and those who identify with no religion are the least
likely to feel the things they do in life are worth while.
The ONS has been studying well-being levels among the population
for the past three years. It found that, overall, British people
were happier in the year up to December 2014 than they had been in
the past two years, and that levels of anxiety were declining. Some
32.6 per cent rated their happiness level at 9, or 10 out of 10, in
2013-14 - up from 30.9 per cent in 2012-13.
Young people were found to be less likely than adults to feel
that the things they did in life were worth while, but they were
more likely to report higher feelings of life-satisfaction and
The rise in happiness levels came despite the fact that other
measures, such as disposable income, had not increased.
Taking part in sport and voluntary activities was linked to
higher levels of happiness, besides having good close relationships
with family and friends.
Although we are generally living longer and healthier lives, the
report suggests, a significant proportion of the population were
found to have health concerns: three in ten people (31.4 per cent)
were dissatisfied with their health, and about two in ten (18.8 per
cent) reported having a long-term illness, or a disability that was
either work-limiting, or limited their day-to-day activities, in
the period July to September 2014.
A spokesperson for the ONS said: "The research suggests a
resilience amongst the population, who have shown increases in
personal well-being despite no improvements in what we do."
Some 305,000 adults aged over 16 were surveyed to collect the