Anxiety (ONS)

General information


Personal well-being (PWB) is part of the wider Measuring National Well-being (MNW) Programme at the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which aims to provide accepted and trusted measures of the nation’s well-being. Personal well-being using four measures (often referred to as the ONS4), which capture three types of well-being: evaluative, eudemonic and affective experience. These measures ask people to evaluate how satisfied they are with their life overall, asking whether they feel they have meaning and purpose in their life, and asks about their emotions during a particular period.

You can use these measures on their own or in any combination. The full set is here.

This page describes the measure of whether people felt anxious yesterday. Asking people to describe their emotions in the recent past (rather than at this moment in time) allows them to assess their mood more generally, and avoids the halo effect.


On a scale where 0 is “not at all anxious” and 10 is “completely anxious”, overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?


Tinkler, L., & Hicks, S. (2011). Measuring subjective well-being. Office for National Statistics. Available here.

Validation details

ONS (2012) Overview of ONS phase three cognitive testing of Subjective Wellbeing Questions. ONS Summary report.


Cost / Terms of Use

Free (No permission required)

Instructions and Scoring

Guidance and thresholds here 


Data source name

Annual Population Survey. Also asked in these surveys.


Quarterly; Annually

Latest data

You can find the latest data here.

Link to historical data

You can find earlier data here


Over 16; socio-economic classification, age, gender, ethnicity, education