If you’re thinking about making the move to the United Kingdom, you might be wondering about the job opportunities that are available and the best places to live across the nation. But you should also consider the quality of life in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the overall wellbeing of its residents. In this article, discover what the UK is doing to monitor its wellbeing and improve the quality of life for its citizens into the future.
The accessibility and affordability of housing plays an important role in the wellbeing of residents, ensuring they have a safe and comfortable place to call “home”. To learn more about what is available and the average prices, you can browse a diverse range of properties at rentola.co.uk. Not only are there rental properties in the heart of the UK’s biggest cities but also family homes in the countryside. A home that is within your budget and allows you to live the lifestyle you want can have a big impact on your overall wellbeing.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, wellbeing is “the state of being comfortable, healthy or happy”. While it does take into consideration the happiness felt in a particular moment, it refers more to the overall satisfaction that people feel with their life and sense of purpose. For most people, their wellbeing is something they work towards on a personal level but it is also something that governments can contribute to through policy making.
Understanding the wellbeing of citizens is a crucial step for countries if they want to better support people struggling with mental health issues. By focusing on wellbeing in general, rather than individual mental health issues, policymakers can better understand the impact of income, housing and social connections on people’s overall “happiness”, as well as the role that self-esteem and optimism can play.
Measuring Wellness In The United Kingdom
While most nations measure their success by Gross Domestic Product, the UK Government added in a measure of wellbeing in 2010. When the Prime Minister at the time, David Cameron, launched the National Wellbeing Programme, he said it was to better understand not only the growth of the economy but also “our standard of living…our quality of life”.
Since that time, a measurement framework has been developed to discover what matters to UK citizens when it comes to quality of life. It includes around 40 measures of wellbeing, including life expectancy, anxiety levels and unemployment, as well as how fearful they are of things such as crime in their neighbourhood.
Data is collected through surveys regarding attitudes and long-term studies, as well as drawing on official statistics. By collecting this data, the UK Government hopes to better understand how their policies impact people.
On the other hand, the Carnegie UK Trust is trying to determine whether it’s possible to calculate a single measure of wellbeing, which they are referring to as Gross Domestic Wellbeing (GDWe). It is based on the idea that a healthy and flourishing society is one where its citizens have everything they need to live well, not only at the current point in time but also in the future. It is a society where meaningful relationships are cultivated and nurtured and one where everyone feels as though they have the opportunity to contribute to society.
Measuring wellbeing in the United Kingdom is not without its challenges, however, as it requires the surveying of population groups at regular intervals. In the past, some questions have been rotated in and out of surveys and, on occasion, there has been a significant period of time between the collection of data and its publication. If the measurement of wellbeing is going to be a success, these are challenges that the government and research bodies need to overcome.
How Other Countries Measure Wellbeing
The United Kingdom isn’t the first to address the wellbeing of its residents, with New Zealand becoming the first country to set aside a budget specifically for the improved wellbeing of its citizens in 2019. While NZ has recorded strong GDP growth in the past, it recognised that this has not always translated into better opportunities, higher living standards and enhanced wellbeing for its residents. New Zealand’s Wellbeing Budget provides funds for ministers to create policies that focus on addressing child poverty, domestic violence and mental health – three areas that can have a big impact on overall wellbeing.
Also of note is Bhutan, which is known around the world for its “Happiness Index”. This measures the prosperity of the country not by GDP but by the happiness of its residents, or Gross National Happiness (GNH). It takes into account the spiritual, social and physical health of its residents, as well as the health of the country’s natural environment. While Bhutan’s approach has been an oddity since it was implemented in 1971, more and more countries are seeing the benefits of measuring wellness.