UK happiness and life satisfaction improve but still below pre-pandemic levels, says ONS survey

People's feelings of wellbeing have improved in the UK but remain below pre-pandemic levels, a survey suggests.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said average scores, for the year ending March 2022, were better on all four measures.

Respondents were asked how satisfied they were with life, the extent they believe the things they do are worthwhile and how happy or anxious they felt yesterday.

Life satisfaction was 7.54/10 (7.39 the previous year); 7.77/10 for doing things that are worthwhile (7.71); 7.45 for happiness yesterday (7.32); 3.12 for anxiety yesterday (3.31).

A quarter of people reported no anxiety at all.

The annual improvements for life satisfaction, happiness and anxiety were the biggest since the ONS started measuring wellbeing a decade ago.

However, they follow significant dips in the previous survey (which covered the first year of the pandemic to March 2021) and are still lower than before COVID.

There were some differences between UK nations in this year's findings.

Improvement in life satisfaction for people in Scotland was not statistically significant, in contrast to the rest of the country, the ONS said.

Increased scores for doing worthwhile things in life were only statistically significant in England.

The wellbeing questions were included in the Annual Population Survey, which has a sample size of about 150,000.