Measuring National Wellbeing

What is wellbeing?

Measuring wellbeing refers to tracking how well a population is progressing is in terms of several broad categories relating to the quality of life.

The National Wellbeing Programme

Since 2010, the UK's National Wellbeing Programme has tracked changes in UK citizens' experience of wellbeing. The program uses data collected from the Annual Population Survey (APS) which asks 320,000 respondents [1] a range of questions covering social and personal well-being. Similar surveys are conducted internationally, and form part of a general drive to 'go beyond' the headline metric - GDP.

For example, since 2008, Gallup has tracked health and wellbeing in the US, and regularly published updates on changing trends in various metrics.

In the UK's survey, some 43 indicators are tracked in 10 categories, including health, relationships, environment, work, personal finances and education and skills. Information on these categories, and how wellbeing is changing is available through the ONS national wellbeing dashboard.

The latest UK wellbeing dashboard

Economic development

How do we measure development?


What activities create externalities?

Supply-side policy

Can supply-side policy promote development?

Supply-side policy

[1] Annual Population Survey - viewed 10th June 2021,