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 83.

    I would be a lot happier if I could have the money that is being wasted on this survey!

  • rate this

    Comment number 82.

    Q1 - Are you happy?

    You answered 'No'. that leads us to believe that you are unhappy...

    I get enough of this rubbish at work

  • rate this

    Comment number 81.

    Are politicians Androids trying to learn what it is like to be human? Like DATA off of Star Trek? I can't see how this can be measured accurately using statistics. The only point of it seems to be for politicians to demonstrate how well they think they're doing. So tories will say they're happier than they are and Labour will say how miserable they are under the tories.

  • Comment number 80.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 79.

    Supposed I am satisfied being on benefits, with a flea bitten rotweiller, no electricity because I can't afford it but OK because the cannabis takes the edge off it all?

    In the government's eyes that's it - sorted, nothing for them to do.

  • rate this

    Comment number 78.

    I have travelled all over Europe and also lived in several countries in Europe and have always found the Brits to be the most miserable people. Perhaps we need to take a good look at ourselves to see why that is. We live on an island and have tended to muddle on in our own miserable way, putting on blinkers to blot out anything we don't understand.

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    And the little old lady replied
    1: No everyone rips me off because I don’t have a computer
    2: My husband died 26 years ago
    3: Guess.?
    4: I only have a job moving around the house and paying the bills.
    5: Yes I stare at it all day because TV is not aimed at me
    6: No my husband couldn’t afford a personal pension
    7: Enough to know the obvious.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Am I happy that the government are spending our hard-earned on something that they care so very little about, can't interpret and certainly will fiddle so that they can tell us we have the happiest country in the world?


  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    Happiness is bringing up 2 kids in the South East and neither of them develop a cockney accent.

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    Post-coital bliss.....you can't beat, mate !!

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    6) Who is your favourite Bond Villain?
    7) Have you ever subscribed to Air Rifle Monthly Magazine?
    8) Chaffinch or Bittern?
    9) What is your Favourite WWII movie?
    10) Have you ever read the Daily Mail?

    Just pointless.

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    Comment number 67. widiot
    22 Minutes ago
    1) Have you ever bought Mini Eggs?
    2) Do You enjoy Clouds?
    3) Have you ever seen Chris De Burgh live?
    4) Preference Leg or Breast?5)
    Cladding or Traditional Stonework?
    Prefer not to say.

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    I'm generally quiet happy until a certain D.Cameron appears on my TV screen, and his shrill voice starts barking out his usual garbage, then all of a sudden I'm not happy.

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    Iv'e always thought happiness was a cigar called hamlet.

  • Comment number 69.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    If the government has time for this sort of boloney why doesn't it get stuff sorted out like what can I hope for if I'm kicked out of my job and will the gov let me keep my home.

    I'd say that too many stressful factors ultimately rooted in the economy cloud issues about what people are happy about and by how much.

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    I think we should all put forward our own 10 signs of happiness for use in future surveys! Mine are as follows:1) Have you ever bought Mini Eggs?
    2) Do You enjoy Clouds? 3) Have you ever seen Chris De Burgh live?
    4) Preference Leg or Breast?5) Cladding or Traditional Stonework? Which is your favourite?

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    Great, more stats politicians can use 2 tell us how well they r running the country, how things r improving and how we've never had it so good.
    If the stat ever starts to drop, they'll just change the criteria for calculating it so the figures appear to rise again. Remember the book 1984? output rose year after year, but Winston thought he could remember that this years was lower than last years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.

    Glad to see the government is taking a look at Gross National Happiness and not just GDP. Just hope they actually do something with whatever statistics they generate...

    For anyone interested, take a look at the video about Bhutan's GNH on Youtube. It's inspiring stuff!

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    Amusing, No. 8 is not to be a question, but 'data' gathered. Clearly they know we have no trust in any of Parliament or the whole morally corrupt political class.


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