Britain


Majority of People Living and Working in the UK Are Satisfied with Their Life

by Ray Clancy on March 27, 2015

The UK is one of the most popular countries in the world for expats and people living and working in the country have seen their well-being rise, according to new research.

Not only are more people satisfied with their life but healthy life expectancy has increased and adults taking part in sport at least once a week is also on the rise.

ukmapIn the financial year ending 2014, more people in the UK were feeling positive about their lives than in the financial year ending 2012, according to questions on personal well-being published by the Office for National Statistics.

However, young people were less likely than adults to feel a sense that the things they do in life are worthwhile, but more likely to report higher feelings of life satisfaction and happiness.

While the population is generally living longer and healthier lives, a significant proportion of the population have health concerns with 31.4% dissatisfied with their health in the financial year ending 2013 and 18.8% having a long term illness or a disability that was either work limiting or limited their day to day activities in July to September 2014.

Research also shows that people with higher levels of personal well-being make better health and lifestyle choices. They are more likely to eat healthily, be physically active, and are less likely to smoke.

Conversely, where the quality and quantity of relationships is poor, people can feel lonely, which is bad for both individual well-being and health. The influence of social relationships is similar to other, well-understood, mortality risk factors, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, and is even greater than the influence of physical activity and obesity.

The research also found that the vast majority of people have good relationships with friends, family and neighbours, with 86.7% reporting that they had a spouse, family member or friend to rely on a lot if they had a serious problem in the financial year ending 2011.

Active pursuits, such as engaging with the arts, being physically active and volunteering, boosts well-being and 83.4% did so in the financial year ending 2014, and 77.6% were at least somewhat satisfied with our work in the financial year ending 2013.

Most people are either fairly or very satisfied with where they live in terms of accommodation and the local area.

But politics is not interesting people despite the upcoming general election. Data from autumn 2014 suggest that the majority of people in the UK are not politically engaged.

Some 62% of people in the UK tend not to trust the government, but this is not a particularly high proportion when compared to other European Union countries and is considerably lower than, for example, France, Italy and Spain, where the proportion is closer to three quarters.

Voter turnout at the last general election, while higher than the last two general elections, was the third lowest since 1945. In comparison, however, more than eight in 10 people voted in the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014.

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