Life Satisfaction (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.

This page describes one of these measures – life satisfaction. If you only have room in your evaluation to measure one of the ONS4, we recommend you use this one.


On a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is “not at all” and 10 is “completely”:

Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?


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 other surveys 


Quarterly; Annually

Latest data

You can find the latest data here

Historical data

You can find earlier data here


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