Friday, 10 March 2017

New statistics for old? – measuring the wellbeing of the UK

an article Paul Allin and David J. Hand (Imperial College London, UK) published in Royal Statistical Society: Series A Statistics in Society Volume 80 Issue 1 (January 2017)


Attempts to create measures of national wellbeing and progress have a long history. In the UK, they go back at least as far as the 1790s, with Sir John Sinclair’s Statistical Account of Scotland. More recently, worldwide interest has led to the creation of various indices seeking to go beyond familiar economic measures like gross domestic product.

We review the ‘Measuring national well-being’ development programme of the UK’s Office for National Statistics and explore some of the challenges which need to be faced to bring wider measures into use. These include the importance of getting the measures adopted as policy drivers, how to challenge the continuing dominance of economic measures, sustainability and environmental issues, international comparability and methodological statistical questions.

Full text (PDF)

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