Headlines: March 24th, 2014

The National Wellbeing survey shows that fewer people trust the Government and younger people are less concerned about politics than the older generation.

The National Wellbeing Programme survey is published by the Office for National Statistics. It seeks to measure how well the UK is doing on a series of measures.

The survey reveals that nearly a quarter of people aged 15 and over reported that they ‘tended to trust’ the government in the UK in autumn 2013. This compares with 2007 when one third of people tended to trust the government.

The survey also showed that those aged 16 to 24 were more likely to state no interest at all in politics, 42%, than those aged 65 and over, 21%. Over 6 in 10 of adults aged 18 and over agreed or strongly agreed that they would seriously be neglecting their duty as a citizen if they didn’t vote.

Voter turnout in UK General Elections peaked in 1950 with over 8 in 10 of the electorate voting, in 2010 the turnout was 61%. A lower proportion, 57%, agreed they found politics too complicated to understand in 2012 compared with 69% in 1986. A lower proportion, 60%, agreed that ‘voting is the only way to have any say’ in 2012, compared with 73% in 1994.

The survey also measured overall life satisfaction. It revealed that the average rating of life satisfaction for all adults aged 16 and over was 7.5 out of 10. On average, women have higher life satisfaction than men with 7.5 and 7.4 out of 10 respectively.

People aged 16 to 19 and 65 to 79 rated their life satisfaction higher than any other age group at 7.8 out of 10. People aged 45 to 54 rated their life satisfaction lower than any other age at 7.1 out of 10.

The White and Indian respondents are on average the most satisfied with their lives with 7.5 out of10, while the Black/African/Caribbean/Black British respondents are the least satisfied with 6.9 out of 10.

Northern Ireland had proportionately more people than any other country in the UK rating their life satisfaction as very high with 9 or 10 out of 10. Wales had proportionately more people than any other country in the UK rating their life satisfaction as very low at 0-4 out of 10.

Among the English regions, the South West had the highest proportions of people giving the highest ratings of 9 or 10 out of 10 for life satisfaction. The North East had proportionately more people who rated their life satisfaction as 4 or less out of 10.

Internationally, the report shows that the UK ranks above the EU average in areas such as life satisfaction, recycling rates, trust in Government and satisfaction with accommodation. The UK are below the EU average in households making ends meet, perceived health status, and support if needed advice about a serious personal or family matter.