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Part of: Mental Health and Illness, Emotional Health and Wellbeing of Children and Young People

Related to: Ethnicity, Employment and Economic Activity, Ill Health and DisabilityPeople with Multiple Needs, [[Children and Young People]], Night Time Economy, Loneliness and Isolation, Child Health and Wellbeing Survey , Food Poverty

Key Facts:

  • Based on the ONS survey of wellbeing, residents in Bath and North East Somerset experience relatively high levels of life satisfaction, feeling worthwhile and overalll happiness.
  • However, these rates have not changed significantly over time, meaning that they are no longer amongst the highest in the country. high_levels_of_life_satisfaction_infographic.
  • Levels of reported anxiety (39% feeling anxious yesterday) remain higher than regional levels.
  • In the 2013 Child Health and Wellbeing Survey, 65% of Year 8 and 10 pupils responded that they were ‘quite a lot’ or ‘a lot’ satisfied with their life at the moment.
  • There are significiant variations by demographic characteristics, in partcular younger and older people report higher levels of wellbeing, while Black and Minority Ethnic communities; those with poor reported physical health and the unemployed experience lower levels of wellbeing.

Subjective Wellbeing 1

The Office for National Statistics has a programme to measure national wellbeing and happiness which is grounded in a number of survey based questions that are asked to those 16 years old and over: 

  • 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?

Results for Bath and North East Somerset have not changed significantly over time (Fig 1), with all measures aside from 'Anxious yesterday' being in line with South West Averages and greater than Great Britain averages. Anxious yesterday remains significantly higher than regional rates.

Fig 1 - Average Wellbeing scores 2011-14 Bath and North East Somerset


Get the data 

In 2011/122 Bath and North East Somerset had amongst the highest levels of reported wellbeing amongst the population (with equivalently high levels of anxiety), suggesting that averages for other areas have increased to meet that found locally.   

Demographic characteristics of wellbeing 3

The research also highlighted a range of differences based on demographic characteristics at a national level:

Sex: On average, women reported higher ratings than men for the "life satisfaction‟ and  "worthwhile‟ questions, and the same average rating as men for the „happy yesterday‟ question. However, women also reported higher average ratings for the "anxious yesterday‟ question.

Age: Overall higher ratings of were reported by younger and older people, and lower ratings are reported by those in the middle years. As a result, the age profile of Bath and North East Somerset could explain the area's significantly high results.

Relationship Status: Married people, those in civil partnerships and cohabiting couples had higher ratings across all domains when compared to single and widowed people.

Ethnicity: Significantly lower results were recorded by people of a non-white ethnicity across the range of questions.

Disability & Health Status: People who defined their health as poor or very poor and those describing themselves having a disability reported significantly lower results across the range of questions. In particular, nearly half of people who reported their health as "very bad‟ reported a high rating for "anxious yesterday‟.

Employment and Occupation: Unemployed people scored significantly low on "happy yesterday‟ and "worthwhile‟. Wellbeing seems to vary by occupation, with ratings for "worthwhile‟ being significantly higher in "caring, leisure and other service occupations‟ and "professional occupations‟. There was little variation in "anxious yesterday‟ between occupations.

More in-depth analysis on this data based on the national results has been conducted by the Office for National Statistics 

Child well-being - Bath and North East Somerset 4


In 2009 the Department for Communities and Local Government developed a Child Well-being Index. The CWI is based on the approach, structure and methodology that were used in the construction of the Indices of Deprivation in 2007. The seven domains included in the CWI are: Material well-being, Health, Education, Crime, Housing, Environment, and Children in need. The CWI average score gives equal weights to each of these domains. The higher the score the better it is thought the overall child well-being is in an area.

Bath and North East Somerset's CWI average score is 81.4. The lowest score for a local authority area in England is 50.5, and the highest is 358.8.

It is important to use the CWI with caution because it is several years out of date as it was published in 2009 and many of the component indicators are from 2005 or earlier. However, it remains the only available local summary measure of overall child wellbeing.


What does the community say?

Voicebox Survey 5

The large scale Voicebox Resident Survey carried out in 2012 asked respondents how satisfied or dissatisfied they were with their local area as a place to live. The great majority (85%) of respondents were satisfied, with 44% of respondents being very satisfied and 41% fairly satisfied. Only 7% of respondents stated that they were dissatisfied.

Child Health and Wellbeing Survey

For the results of the Child Health and Wellbeing Survey see the Child Health and Wellbeing Survey section.