Social Indicators Research

, Volume 114, Issue 1, pp 73–86 | Cite as

Measuring Subjective Well-Being and its Potential Role in Policy: Perspectives from the UK Office for National Statistics

  • Stephen Hicks
  • Lucy Tinkler
  • Paul Allin


Measures of subjective well-being are one component of the measurement of the quality of life and progress of a nation. The Office for National Statistics approach, as part of the Measuring National Well-being programme, has been to include such measures alongside more objective measures in order to gain a full picture of “how things are going” and to better inform public policy. These estimates are considered experimental and further testing and development is underway. However, it is argued that subjective well-being measures have a potential role in the policy process and this article considers how they could be used in policy making within the UK.


Subjective well-being The office for national statistics Measuring national well-being Quality of life Stiglitz-Sen-Fitoussi Gross domestic product (GDP) and beyond GDP Objective-list Preference satisfaction Evaluative Experience Eudemonic Annual population survey (APS) Dolan 


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Copyright information

© UK Crown 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Office for National StatisticsMeasuring National Well-beingNewportUK
  2. 2.Department of MathematicsImperial College LondonLondonUK

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