What Works Centre for Wellbeing published a report  on the 6th March 2017, which takes the data from the four questions on subjective wellbeing from the Annual Population Survey (already published by the Office for National Statistics, ONS) and calculates the inequality score for each local authority.

Further research identifying the factors associated with wellbeing inequalities will be published later in 2017.

  • Wellbeing is defined as ‘how we are doing’ as individuals, communities and as a nation – and in this research is measured by asking questions like “on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is ‘not at all’ and 10 is ‘completely’, overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?”.
  • Wellbeing inequality is the extent to which peoples’ experiences of life vary either:
    • Within a population e. Local Authority
    • Between groups i.e. male or female, education level

Key messages

What does this mean for Richmond?

  • The report identifies Richmond as having the 29th (out of 203 local authorities) lowest level of overall wellbeing inequality (which indicates that wellbeing is distributed relatively equally across the population).
  • The report does not give details of the average wellbeing score, but we know from ONS data already in the public domain that Richmond has slightly higher levels of wellbeing than the UK average on 2 out of 4 domains – please see appendix for more detail.
  • When looking at education-based wellbeing, Richmond shows almost no difference in wellbeing between those with higher and lower levels of education (with a score of -0.01).
    • A negative score indicates that people with lower levels of education actually have higher levels of wellbeing than those with higher levels of education.


The table below shows data which is taken from the ONS personal well-being estimates. Respondents are given a scale from 0 (lowest) to 10 (highest) to rank their response to each of the 4 questions. This is self-reported and will therefore responses will be subjective.

Table: Estimates of personal well-being from the Annual Population Survey, 2014/15

  Life satisfaction score Worthwhile score Happiness score Anxiety score*
Richmond 7.53 7.86 7.48 3.36
London 7.50 7.73 7.38 3.01
UK 7.61 7.82 7.46 2.86
UK Maximum 8.41 8.58 8.26 3.58
UK Minimum 6.88 7.14 6.89 1.84

*A higher score indicates greater anxiety and, hence, lower wellbeing.

The 2014 to 2015 report on measuring national well-being: Personal Well-being in the UK shows that Londoners as a whole report lower wellbeing than the rest of the UK, “People in London reported lower personal well-being on average for each of the measures than the equivalent UK averages, but London has seen improvements across all the average measures of personal well-being, particularly in reductions to anxiety since data were first collected”.