Cumberland Seminar on 28 January 2016

Published Date: 
Wednesday, 17 February 2016

"We seem unsure about how we are doing. GDP has been rising again in the last few years, and is higher than ever before. But anxieties about inequality, the environment, social cohesion, loneliness, mental health, obesity and many other issues abound. How should we think about our wellbeing, and what should we be measuring if we want to know what is really happening?" - Sir Andrew Dilnot

In 2010, Prime Minister David Cameron tasked the ONS with measuring ‘national wellbeing’.  Instead of just relying on Gross Domestic Product, there was a focus on indicators of ‘quality of life’.  Despite having previously noted the difficulty in defining and measuring well-being, the ONS developed and refined a framework assembling diverse indicators of well-being that consistent of 10 ‘domains’ and 41 ‘headline measures’, some of which are subjective and some of which are objective.