Carnegie UK Trust and Ipsos have worked in partnership to develop the new Life in the UK Index, a landmark study which aims to help policy makers track the UK’s collective wellbeing.
The Life in the UK Index has been designed to measure the wellbeing of the people of the UK by looking at social, economic, environmental and democratic aspects of life in the country. The Index is intended as a new measure of social progress to aid public policy decision-making and to complement Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Higher scores indicate a higher level of wellbeing.
- The collective wellbeing score for the UK in 2023 is 62 out of a possible 100. The overall score is the average of scores for social, economic, environmental and democratic wellbeing and measures whether we are ‘living well together’. A perfect score of 100 would mean that these domains of wellbeing are being experienced by everyone in the UK. People with disabilities, those living in the UK’s most deprived areas, those with lower annual household incomes and those who live in social housing or private rented accommodation experience lower collective wellbeing. Older people have some of the highest levels of wellbeing, while younger people experience multiple challenges to their wellbeing.
- The social wellbeing score for the UK in 2023 is 72 out of a possible 100. Social wellbeing includes aspects from health and mental health to neighbourhood safety and relying on each other. A higher score means that we found higher levels of wellbeing for those people or places. The groups most likely to experience high levels of social wellbeing are those who do not have a disability, live in areas of affluence and are over 55 years old.
- The economic wellbeing score for the UK in 2023 is 71 out of a possible 100. Economic wellbeing includes access to a decent income, affordability, financial resilience, job opportunities and skills. Analysis reveals that those most likely to experience high levels of economic wellbeing are those with higher household incomes, homeowners and those without children in the household (i.e. the more children in the household, the worse the economic wellbeing score).
- The environmental wellbeing score for the UK in 2023 is 63 out of a possible 100. Environmental wellbeing includes access to green and blue spaces, quality of the local environment and collectively living within the planet’s natural resources. Analysis shows that the demographic groups most likely to experience high levels of environmental wellbeing are those who live in more affluent areas, those living in rural areas and those aged over 55.
- The democratic wellbeing score for the UK in 2023 is 41 out of a possible 100. Democratic wellbeing includes participation, trust in key institutions and ability to influence decisions at a national and local level. The UK scores 41 out of a possible 100 for democratic wellbeing, while Northern Ireland reports a lower democratic wellbeing score than England, Scotland and Wales (36 compared to 39, 39 and 41). The democratic wellbeing score is the lowest of all the wellbeing domains, and low scores for democratic wellbeing were common across the population.
Download the Life in the UK 2023 reports
Do you want to learn more about this research?
- E-mail Dr Jenny Peachey at Carnegie UK.
- The Life in the UK Index has been devised to track the wellbeing of the UK's people over time. The Index consists of an overall collective wellbeing score, calculated from a score for each of four themes: social, environmental, economic and democratic wellbeing. The score for each is based on several different survey questions relevant to that wellbeing theme.
- The overall collective wellbeing index score and the wellbeing domain scores have a value of between 0 and 100. Note that although the scores are a scale of 0 to 100, they are not percentages. The Life in the UK Index is based upon a 26-question online survey of a representative UK sample of 6941 adults aged 16+ between 18-24 May 2023. The data was collected using the Ipsos UK KnowledgePanel, an online random probability panel which provides gold standard insights into the UK population, by providing bigger sample sizes via the most rigorous research methods.
- Data are weighted by gender, age, region, education, ethnicity, Index of Multiple Deprivation quintile, number of adults in the household, and community background (in Northern Ireland), to reflect the profile of the UK population.
- Carnegie UK and Ipsos designed, developed and analysed the Index in partnership. The recommendations outlined in the Life in the UK Index report are Carnegie UK’s alone.
- Ipsos used factor analysis to construct the Index scores and regression analysis to help us understand which demographic characteristics (including gender, age, income, disability, area deprivation, tenure and ethnicity) are most associated both with collective wellbeing overall and with social, economic, environmental and democratic wellbeing specifically.
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