Ten signs of happiness published by ONS

David and Samantha Cameron The survey will ask people about their relationship with their husband or wife

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People are to be asked how satisfied they are with their husband, wife or partner, under government plans to measure the country's happiness.

The Office for National Statistics has published a list of 10 indicators of wellbeing, including health, education, income, work and trust in politicians.

A three-month consultation will now begin before a final list is published.

David Cameron's "happiness index" is intended to complement other measures of the state of the UK such as GDP.

The list of national wellbeing indicators was drawn up following a five-month debate involving 34,000 people on the question "What matters to you?"

Statisticians narrowed that down to 10 areas, including seven relating to personal wellbeing and three wider indicators - governance, the economy and the environment.

Top of the list of measures in the ONS consultation document is individual happiness.

Among the questions likely to be asked are: "Do you feel your life is worthwhile? How satisfied are you with your husband, wife or partner?"

Question shortlist

  1. Are you satisfied with life?
  2. Are you satisfied with your husband, wife or partner?
  3. How satisfied are you with your mental and physical health?
  4. Are you happy in your job?
  5. Do you feel involved in your neighbourhood?
  6. Are you happy with your personal income?
  7. Are you satisfied with your education?
  8. Data on how many voted and trust in Parliament will also be measured
  9. Statistics on the economy will also be included
  10. As will environmental factors, including greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants

People would also be asked about job satisfaction and whether they feel they achieve a balance of work and leisure activities.

On neighbourhoods, people's involvement in their local area and sense of belonging, as well as feelings of personal safety, would be considered.

Other areas explored are people's financial situation and whether they are happy with their household income.

There would also be questions about education from an individual's own education to the importance of learning new things and satisfaction with the standard of the national education system.

More general areas included are what percentage of the population voted and how many trust Parliament, the state of the economy and the environment - the latter measured in part using greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.

After the consultation exercise, which ends in January, statisticians will consider scrapping indicators from the shortlist or adding new ones. A summary of people's views will be published next spring.

The programme, launched a year ago, aims to provide a better understanding of how society is doing, and could help form coalition policy in the future.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    there are lies damn lies and statistics shame all politicians only believe in statistics.
    If the PM is so stupid as to not know how 99% of the country feel heres a money saving idea
    Don't give us a questionnaire give us a general election and we will show you what we think of you liars and thieves and what you are turning this once great country into
    who put the c*** in country had to be a tory

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    "The programme, launched a year ago, aims to provide a better understanding of how society is doing, and could help form coalition policy in the future."

    This will have as much influence on coalition policy as e-petitions were supposed to have. If you have to look for happiness you`re looking in the wrong place.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    We don't do 'happy' on HYS... this is a place for the seriously unhappy. Happy people are probably doing and thinking about other nice stuff... topping up their happiness. We, on the other hand, love to feed our unhappiness and disgust.
    How disgusting... i'm very disappointed in all of this.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    I'd rate well on happiness for questions 1-7, but I imagine results for the trust in politicians questions will be hilarious (if depressing).

    "What is slimier than David Cameron?"
    A) Snake
    B) Eel
    C) Greased pig
    D) None of the above

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    Is this in preparation for HAPPINESS TAX?

    But you do realise the happiness tax will only effect the poor or sick the rich will get rebates on happiness or off shore it to avoid happiness at all costs (especially when the costs are borne by the aforementioned sick and poor)

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    29. Reclaim_the_country
    Is this in preparation for HAPPINESS TAX?

    Too late. This is the generic term given to all the stealth taxes that Gordon Brown introduced! Remember? And he still managed the biggest debt since WW2!

    And he still wasn't happy......, which only goes to show whatever power and money you have, money cant buy happiness or voters!

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    This is a step in the right direction - surely happiness is more important than banging on about GDP all the time - we need to widen the debate about quality of life outside of pure economic factors.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    10 indicators of wellbeing, including health, education, income, work and trust in politicians.
    Well the last one should have a huge negative impact.
    I can not believe this idiotic waste of money.
    It's a bit like Satan asking the inmates of Hades if they are warm enough.
    Who is responsible for coming up with this puerile nonsense.
    It has to be a new chapter in stating the bloody obvious
    Happy No

  • rate this

    Comment number 54.


    Happiness nowadays is:

    1) Politicians not fiddling their expenses
    2) Rogues journalists not hacking into your phone(s)
    3) Trusted and decent investment bankers or bankers in general
    4) A police force with integrity and trust
    5) Above all, a leader for Britain"

    Your life sounds like a barrel of laughs!

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.

    With apologies to the great Ian Dury, "Reasons to be Cheerful". Got me there guvnor.

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    I'm not very happy with my wife, but my boyfriend more than fills the gap.

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    No sign of a question in there about the profound effects of increasingly intrusive, divisive and authoritarian Govt policies. Certainly their engineering of a recession to further impoverish working people and an diversionary barrage of media scapegoating of public workers, immigrants and 'the obese' have combined not to make me feel 'happy' but threatened and under attack.

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    What a waste of money and time. As with any psychometric type test it is only valid for your current comfort zone. Good job good response. Lose job bad results. Then what precisely are they going to do with the results. It seems to me they are only capable of making bad things worse it never gets better only in their PR leaflet and that based on 50 years of experience.

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    I believe 47 teedoff expresses a very wholesome attitude very well.

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    What a load of drivel. You should not ask the questions without asking why. That way you might learn something, otherwise it is just another meaningless statistic with which people will draw whatever conclusion they are looking for.

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    The idea of this is to give a "fuller understanding" than the state of the economy tells us. I have been told countless times that there is no correllation between money and happiness, so surely this simply gives a different understanding. My main reason for being happy is that I love my wife and our family. The rest's only icing on the cake - including what money we earn.

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    Question 1 should be:

    "Are you happy with the huge amount of tax you are paying?"

    That will skew the results of the "Happiness Index" in an obvious way.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    In our current climate, the true key to being happy is twofold and simple:

    1. Good Health

    2. Not being ripped of by fatcats, their organisations and politicians making promises they have no intention of keeping.

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    This project looks like the outcome of a child's essay which asks 'What you like to do when you grow up and become a prime minister? ' And the child replies saying: 'I would like to make everyone happy'. And the teacher smiles and says: 'Dear little boy, and how would you go about finding what makes them happy?'. The child became a prime minister but never grew up.


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