Prof. David Blackaby, Dr Stephen Drinkwater, Dr Melanie Jones, Prof. Phil Murphy, Dr Mamata Parhi and Dr Kate Robinson

WISERD, Swansea University

Day One – Tuesday 25th June

Strand – Health & Well Being

Session One: 11.30am – 1pm

This research examines data from the Annual Population Survey to compare variations in Subjective Well-Being (SWB) across countries of the UK and areas within Wales, as well as focusing on how SWB varies by demographic sub-groups within Wales. In particular, it identifies groups of individuals and areas within Wales where low levels of SWB are observed.

Some of the key findings are that SWB does not differ greatly across the UK.  However there are some spatial variations, with the lowest levels of SWB typically reported in areas with high levels of deprivation. 

Self-reported health appears to be the most important influence on SWB, with those in very bad health reporting by far the lowest levels of SWB.  This is particularly noticeable for individuals with mental health problems.

Unemployment is strongly linked with lower levels of SWB.  The duration of unemployment is also important as the long-term unemployed are far more likely to report a low level of SWB. The influence of personal and household characteristics appears to be very similar in Wales to other parts of the UK. This is likely to explain the relatively small variation in SWB across the regions of the UK.

Although SWB varies across areas within Wales, such as between unitary authorities, localities with different levels of deprivation and rurality, spatial factors are far less important than individual characteristics.  As a result, geographical variations seem to be largely explained by differences in the characteristics of people living in particular areas.

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