Results from the latest annual well-being survey from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) clearly state that Scotland has improved its average ratings of life satisfaction, worthwhileness and happiness. Sadly, the same can’t be said for our friends across the borders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, who have not demonstrated any overall changes.
While there were no significant changes in ratings of anxiety across Scotland, the other Scottish results were enough to fill the UK with more sunshine, making it a much happier place in general!
Through conducting an analysis by country, the survey provides estimates of personal well-being in the UK. One aim is to detect and pinpoint various inequalities that exist within society so that they can be investigated and hopefully improved.
Silvia Manclossi, Head of Quality of Life Team at the ONS, said that ‘over this period we have seen some differences between countries, with Scotland driving improvements in personal well-being in the UK.’
The well-being of society is attained by exploring four key measures: are you satisfied with your life; are the things you do worthwhile; how happy are you; how anxious are you?
Statistics show that from March 2012 to December 2017, Scotland has increased in terms of life satisfaction (7.51 to 7.72), worthwhileness (7.68 to 7.88) and happiness (7.31 to 7.51), while anxiety has decreased (3.06 to 2.9).
Meanwhile, the Welsh appear to be the unhappiest of the lot with low levels of life satisfaction, worthwhileness and happiness, when compared with the UK average.
The ONS accredit three telling factors when measuring well-being – employment status, self-reported health and relationship status. On the other hand, the precise reasons as to why the Scots are a more jovial bunch are not divulged in the survey report.
Some may argue that it’s all down to Scotland’s pioneering stance on tackling social problems like alcoholism, period poverty and homelessness – a new village for members of the homeless community has just opened in Edinburgh. Then again, the Scots do have their fair share of spellbinding scenery and a natural oasis basking around every far-flung corner. Once more, there’s no denying the fierce sense of community and camaraderie that thrives within Scottish culture.
Whatever the reason, leave it up to the Scots to single-handedly change the status quo by just being happy. As for the rest of the UK…chin up!