The BBC home affairs editor Mark Easton has made the ‘fascinating National Accounts of Well-being site’ the topic of his blog for a second time. He demonstrates the real value of how the site allows users to dig into the National Accounts of Well-being data and use it to examine well-being across Europe in great detail. Easton delves into the self-esteem data which he uses to create his ‘Map of the Week’, drawing attention to the varying patterns in the differences in self-esteem between gender and age groups in different countries. He points out, for example, the sizeable difference in self-esteem levels between men and women in the UK, and the variation in gender patterns across countries.
He also raises the issue of whether some of the differences he notes could be due to translation issues. Support for this theory comes from our own observation that while responses to the two European Social Survey questions about self-esteem are correlated for individuals within countries, there is no correlation between the average scores of countries on each measure. While this might be seen as a reason to criticise the data, it also demonstrates the importance of our approach which uses more than one question to measure the constructs within the National Accounts of Well-being framework. This sort of problem also demonstrates the value of detailed attention being paid to the National Accounts of Well-being data so that improvements for the future can be identified.