Bookmark and ShareJuliet Michaelson is a researcher at nef‘s centre for well-being.

nef is on the road to producing a second set of its National Accounts of Well-being, as part of a successful bid to design a 50-item module of well-being questions on a prestigious European survey.

The original National Accounts of Well-being, published in January 2009, produced headline measures of personal and social well-being for 22 countries across Europe. The indicators and their constituent elements were made available for full interactive exploration on www.nationalaccountsofwellbeing.org. The results showed that Denmark, Switzerland and Norway had the highest levels of overall well-being, with the UK ranked 13th out of 22 on personal well-being and 15th on social well-being.

The data behind these results came from a specially designed module on the third round of the European Social Survey (ESS), a major survey of over 40,000 people across Europe. The module was designed by a cross-national team of experts from across Europe, led by Professor Felicia Huppert of the University of Cambridge and including the Founder of the centre for well-being at nef, Nic Marks. Together with two other members of the original team, Professor Johannes Siegrist of the University of Dusseldorf and Professor Joar Vittersø of the University of Tromsø, and new member Professor Carmelo Vázquez of Complutense University of Madrid, we have now won the opportunity to design a repeat of the well-being module to be included in the sixth round of the ESS.

The new well-being module will repeat many of the original questions, which will allow ground-breaking analysis of detailed changes in well-being over time between participating European countries. In addition, the successful bid outlines the team’s intention to explore a number of new questions, including further measures of engagement, social well-being, and participation in activities described by our evidence-based Five Ways to Well-being.

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