Domain Overview: The amount and quality of social connections with people around us are an essential part of our wellbeing. This was highlighted in the Office for National Statistics National Debate on Measuring National Wellbeing. When people were asked what mattered most for the measurement of National Wellbeing, nearly 9 in 10 (89%) reported ‘having good connections with friends and relatives’.
The 3 measures in the Our Relationships domain are:
- Proportion of those in fairly or extremely unhappy relationships
- Feelings of loneliness (often/always) – No NI Data Available
- Has a spouse or partner, family member or friend to rely on if they have a serious problem
- Data for two of the measures in this domain are sourced from the Understanding Society Longitudinal Study.
- In terms of the first measure, those living with or married to a partner are asked to rate their happiness in their relationship on a scale from "extremely unhappy" to "perfect". The proportion of NI respondents indicating that they were fairly or extremely unhappy was 6.6% in 2013/14. At 8.4%, the overall UK figure was not significantly different.
- Northern Ireland Data are not available in relation to the second measure – how often the respondent felt lonely. ONS reports this measure based on data from the Community Life Survey, which is based on respondents from England only.
- In 2013/14, 80% of respondents in Northern Ireland indicated that they had a spouse, family member or friend to rely on if they had a serious problem, slightly lower than the UK average of 84%.
- It should be noted that ONS has recently changed the measures included in this domain. Two measures covering the average rating of satisfaction with family life and satisfaction with social life have been removed and replaced with the measures on unhappy relationships and feelings of loneliness.
Do you want to know more? – Office for National Statistics Wellbeing.
10 National Wellbeing Domains