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April 2020

What works to improve ONS4 personal subjective wellbeing?

A rapid review of wellbeing impact evaluations using ONS4 measures

What works to improve ONS4 personal subjective wellbeing?
In partnership with

We conducted a rapid evidence assessment of impact evaluations that use the Office for National Statistics’ measures of personal subjective wellbeing, known as the ONS4.

The review is part of our work to systematically identify and summarise evidence from evaluations that use wellbeing frameworks and standardised measures.

What are the ONS4?

The ONS are harmonised measures to assesses personal wellbeing using four measures that capture three types of well-being: evaluative, eudemonic and affective experience.

These measures ask:

  1. Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays? (Life satisfaction)
  2. Overall, to what extent do you feel that the things you do in your life are worthwhile? (Purpose)
  3. Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday? (Happiness)
  4. On a scale where 0 is “not at all anxious” and 10 is “completely anxious”, overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday? (Anxiety)

One of the main benefits of collecting information on personal wellbeing is that it is based on people’s subjective views, taking into account what matters to them.

These are national statistics as part of the UK National Measuring Wellbeing Programme and the measures for Levelling Up Mission 8 and one of the two overall outcomes of Levelling Up.


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In this project

Full report - October 2020
Rapid Evidence Assessment of Wellbeing Impact Evaluations using ONS4
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Briefing - October 2020
What works to improve wellbeing across different interventions
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Briefing - September 2021
Children and Young People’s Measures: ONS4 evaluations and beyond
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Blog - October 2020
ONS4 evaluations: what works to improve personal wellbeing?
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