About Overall well-being

Overall well-being can be assessed from the two headline National Accounts of Well-being indicators of personal well-being and social well-being, or from indicators which combine the two into a summary measure.

The moveable slider above allows different views of overall well-being. At either end of the bar, it shows the separate scores from the indicators of personal well-being and social well-being. In between, different slider positions can be chosen to give different weightings to be given to the personal and social elements of well-being in a combined indicator.

The default slider position is set at a weighting of 2:1 of personal to social well-being, because it seems best to reflect the greater complexity of the constructs which constitute personal well-being compared to those within social well-being. However the case can also be made for giving these two elements equal weightings, and in some contexts, giving social well-being a higher weighting than personal well-being. Use the slider to explore the different weighting options.

There is a debate to be had about how useful combined well-being indicators really are. On the one hand, it seems that the multifaceted nature of well-being ought to be reflected in the indicators which summarise it. On the other hand, there are concerns that presenting two headline indicators might be too complicated, and risks attention focusing on one at the expense of the other. Join the debate by commenting below.