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Personal and economic well-being in the UK: August 2019

Office for National Statistics, as part of a new series on “people and prosperity” introduced in February 2019, produced this bulletin that enables side by side comparisons of personal and economic well-being in the UK (from April 2018 to March 2019 and from January to March 2019 respectively).

It also includes data from the Eurobarometer Consumer Survey on people’s expectations of the economy for the coming 12 months.

Key findings:

  • While all economic well-being measures improved in the latest quarter ending March 2019, people’s personal well-being showed very little change in the UK in the year ending March 2019.

  • Although people in the UK reported slightly higher happiness ratings on average, about 4.2 million people continued to report “low” levels of happiness in the year ending March 2019.

  • There was no significant decrease in the proportion of people reporting the highest levels of anxiety. Overall, anxiety remained stable in the year ending March 2019.

  • People’s expectations for the economy for the year ahead are that it will worsen.

  • Net financial wealth per head increased by 3.0% for the quarter ending March 2019 compared to the same quarter a year ago. This was led by increases in equity and investment fund shares.

  • Expectations for higher unemployment for the year ahead have been climbing and are now higher than at any point for the past 5 and a half years.