The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index has beendesigned as a new barometer of Australians'satisfaction with their lives, and life inAustralia. It is based on, and develops, thetheoretical model of subjective wellbeinghomeostasis. The Index comprises two sub-scalesof Personal and National Wellbeing. Data werecollected through a nationally representativesample of 2,000 people in April/May 2001.Factor analysis confirmed the integrity of thetwo sub-scales and, confirming empiricalexpectation, the average level of lifesatisfaction was 75.5 percent of the scalemaximum score. Group comparisons revealed thatall age groups maintained their Personal Indexscore within the normal range. In addition,people in country areas were more satisfiedwith their personal lives than city-dwellers,but less satisfied about the nationalsituation, and people who had recentlyexperienced a strong positive event evidenced arise in wellbeing, whereas those who hadexperienced a strong negative event evidencedwellbeing in the low-normal range. It is arguedthat these data generally support homeostatictheory. However, an unusual result was thatfemales were more satisfied with their ownlives than males. A tentative argument isadvanced that this may represent aconstitutional difference. It is concluded thatthe Australian Unity Wellbeing Index haspotential as a valid, reliable and sensitiveinstrument to monitor national wellbeing.
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Cummins, R.A., Eckersley, R., Pallant, J. et al. Developing a National Index of Subjective Wellbeing: The Australian Unity Wellbeing Index. Social Indicators Research 64, 159–190 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024704320683
- national index
- social indicators
- subjective wellbeing