Personal Wellbeing

Personal (subjective) wellbeing includes estimates of life satisfaction, worthwhile, happiness and anxiety in Northern Ireland.


An individual’s thoughts and feelings about their quality of life is an important aspect of their personal wellbeing.  How satisfied people are with their lives, their levels of happiness and anxiety, and whether or not they think the things they do are worthwhile all have strong links with many elements of wellbeing, for example, people’s health, employment and relationships.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Measuring National Wellbeing Programme monitors and reports “how the UK as a whole is doing”.  The measures monitored through the Programme are organised into 10 domains, including one domain focusing on personal (subjective) wellbeing.

NISRA has participated in the Measuring National Wellbeing Programme since it was established in 2010, and several of our household surveys incorporate the four personal wellbeing questions outlined below.

  • overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?
  • overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
  • overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
  • overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

People are asked to respond to each question on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is “not at all” and 10 is “completely”. 

Publication Update

This publication has been replaced by the Wellbeing in Northern Ireland publication.

Following user feedback and to make data more accessible and comparable for each of the Wellbeing metrics, NISRA teams within The Executive Office and Department of Finance have worked in collaboration to produce the Wellbeing in NI report, which provides estimates for Northern Ireland (NI) across four areas which reflect wellbeing:

  • Loneliness – the frequency with which people report feeling lonely
  • Self-Efficacy – a person’s belief about their capabilities to exercise influence over events that affect their lives
  • Personal wellbeing – how satisfied people are with their lives, their levels of happiness and anxiety, and whether or not they think the things that they do are worthwhile
  • Locus of Control – the degree to which a person feels in control of their life

The Wellbeing report can be accessed at the link below:

Wellbeing in Northern Ireland

Previous Reports

Wellbeing in Northern Ireland: 2020/21


Personal Wellbeing in Northern Ireland: 2019/20

Personal Wellbeing in Northern Ireland: 2018/19

Personal Wellbeing in Northern Ireland: 2017/18