Intended for healthcare professionals


Everyone is happier in UK except for long term sick, latest figures show

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 25 September 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5872
  1. Nigel Hawkes
  1. 1London

People in the United Kingdom have a sunnier disposition since the economic situation improved, the latest measures of personal wellbeing indicate. Small but significant improvements in happiness, life satisfaction, and the feeling that what one does is worthwhile are accompanied by a decline in anxiety when responses in 2013-14 are compared with those a year ago.

The only group excluded from the feelgood factor are people with long term illness, whose ratings have remained unchanged or declined slightly. The Office for National Statistics, which collects the data, speculated that because these people are less able to take advantage of better job prospects, they become less satisfied with their lives as they see others doing so. It does not mention changes in disability allowances as a possible cause.

The wellbeing programme, favoured by the prime minister …

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