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July 2017

Community wellbeing indicators in the UK

A rapid scoping review of the indicators, frameworks and measures used by UK governmental and non-governmental agencies

Community wellbeing indicators in the UK
In partnership with

To address gaps in the community wellbeing knowledge base we commissioned a rapid scoping review.

The review contributes to the understanding of
community wellbeing, and related concepts, and aims to provide more specific definition(s) for policymakers.


Our 2017 conceptual review of community wellbeing found that it is primarily about strong networks of relationships and support between people in a community, and being able to improve things in, and influence decisions about, their community.

While there are many well-known scales and measures of individual wellbeing, such as the Life Satisfaction Scale and the Warwick Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (WEMWBS), community wellbeing is less well-defined as a concept, and indicators and frameworks that measure a community’s wellbeing may not be described as such.

This work forms part of our Communities Evidence Programme, established to synthesise the evidence on the factors that determine individual and community wellbeing. The scoping review and mapping exercise complements other work developing a working Theory of Change for community wellbeing, and reviewing the conceptual literature on community wellbeing.

Key insights

We found 43 measures or indicators of community wellbeing that are currently or recently in use in the UK.

Governmental organisations were more likely to use indicator frameworks or sets, while non-governmental or academic organisations were more likely to use conceptual frameworks. Academic organisations were the most likely of the 3 organisational types to use validated measures or scales.

There was a wide range of synonyms or proxy terms used relating to community wellbeing, and we have begun to map these against the domains included within them.

How to use these insights

We have produced a working document that lists the indicators, frameworks and measures identified,
while making reference to the theories and concepts that underpin them (if any).

Resources can be found below.


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In this project

Full report - August 2017
Systematic scoping review of indicators of community wellbeing in the UK
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Indicator table - August 2017
Community Wellbeing indicators: Table of included resources
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