Wales behind UK average for wellbeing, according to ONS
New data shows Welsh people are less satisfied with life, find it less worthwhile, are less happy, and more anxious than the UK average.*
The Office of National Statistics (ONS) have found that Wales has scored worse than the UK average on all four of its well-being indicators, and worse than Scotland on life satisfaction and anxiety.
Figures also show that Wales is the most anxious of all UK nations and has seen increased levels of anxiety since last year.
Local authority areas in Wales which tend to score the worst on these indicators are located in the Valleys and North East Wales.
Scoring below the UK average on all indicators are Merthyr Tydfil, Blaenau Gwent, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Cardiff, and Caerphilly – the last three of which are Labour-controlled councils.
Commenting on the data, Angela Burns AM, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Secretary, said:
“These figures are extremely concerning and suggest that Wales is particularly vulnerable to mental health issues compared to the rest of the UK.
“Nearly two decades of low wages, an underperforming health service, and failing schools have left people bleak about their life prospects.
“It’s clear that far too many people in Wales feel that life isn’t working for them. It’s little wonder that four of the 25 most prescribed medicines in Wales are antidepressants.
“I will be writing to the Cabinet Health Secretary for his response to these figures, asking how Welsh Government intends to tackle this problem.”
Life Satisfaction: Wales 7.65 / UK 7.70 / Scotland 7.68
Worthwhile: Wales 7.83 / UK 7.86
Happiness: Wales 7.48 / UK 7.51
Anxiety: Wales 2.96 / UK 2.90 / Scotland 2.89