Wed, 30 Nov 2022

Wellbeing in Northern Ireland, 2021/22

Northern Ireland Executive
09 Nov 2022, 22 GMT+10

The Executive Office today published figures for Northern Ireland for 2021/22 across four areas of wellbeing:

  • Loneliness - measures the frequency with which people report feeling lonely.
  • Self-Efficacy - a person's belief about their capabilities to exercise influence over events that affect their lives
  • Personal Wellbeing - measures how satisfied people are with their lives, their levels of happiness and anxiety, and whether or not they think the things they do are worthwhile
  • Locus of Control (LoC) - the degree to which a person feels in control of their life. Individuals with an internal LoC believe in their own influence and control while those with an external LoC believe control over their lives is determined by outside factors

For the following key findings, scales for self-efficacy and locus of control range from 5 to 25. Scales for personal wellbeing measures range from 0 to 10. A higher score signifies better wellbeing in the self-efficacy, life satisfaction, worthwhile, happiness and locus of control metrics, whereas a lower score signifies better wellbeing in the anxiety metric.

Key Findings

  • Life satisfaction, happiness and anxiety measures improved over the year, while low self-efficacy and locus of control measures have shown a decline in wellbeing. Life satisfaction (7.7) and happiness (7.8) scores were higher in 2021/22 compared with 2020/21 (7.6 and 7.5 respectively). In the same period, levels of anxiety decreased (3.2 to 2.8). The proportion of people reporting low self-efficacy increased from 15.0% in 2020/21 to 17.6% in 2021/22. In the same period, locus of control scores decreased from 17.4 to 17.1.
  • People who reported their health as very good reported better levels of wellbeing. Those who reported their health as very good reported higher self-efficacy (20.4), life satisfaction (8.3), worthwhile (8.5), happiness (8.1) and locus of control (17.6) than those who reported their health as bad/very bad (15.7, 6.0, 6.4, 6.1 and 15.7 respectively). They also reported lower levels of anxiety (2.0 compared with 4.9) and feelings of loneliness (11.8% compared with 51.6%).
  • People with a disability reported lower levels of wellbeing. People with a disability reported lower self-efficacy (17.9), life satisfaction (7.0), worthwhile (7.2), happiness (7.0) and locus of control (16.5) than people without a disability (20.1, 8.0, 8.2, 7.9 and 17.4 respectively). They also reported higher levels of anxiety (3.8 compared with 2.4) and feelings of loneliness (34.8% compared with 14.2%).
  • People in employment reported better levels of wellbeing. Those in paid employment reported higher self-efficacy (20.1), life satisfaction (7.9), worthwhile (8.1), happiness (7.8) and locus of control (17.5) than those not in paid employment (19.8, 7.5, 7.7, 7.5 and 16.6 respectively). They also reported lower levels of anxiety (2.7 compared with 3.0) and feelings of loneliness (16.2% compared with 26.0%).
  • Those with a Degree or Higher Qualification reported better levels of wellbeing. Those with a degree or higher qualification reported higher self-efficacy (20.2), life satisfaction (7.9), worthwhile (8.0), happiness (7.7) and locus of control (17.8) than those with no qualifications (18.0, 7.4, 7.6, 7.4 and 16.2 respectively). They also reported lower levels of anxiety (2.8 compared with 3.0) and feelings of loneliness (15.8% compared with 29.9%).
  • Those who owned their house reported better levels of wellbeing. Those who owned their house (outright or with a mortgage) reported higher self-efficacy (19.8), life satisfaction (7.9), worthwhile (8.1), happiness (7.8) and locus of control (17.2) than those in social rented accommodation (17.6, 7.1, 7.4, 7.2 and 16.4 respectively). They also reported lower levels of anxiety (2.6 compared with 3.4) and feelings of loneliness (17.3% compared with 34.3%).
  • People with access to a car reported better levels of wellbeing. People with access to a car reported higher self-efficacy (19.8), life satisfaction (7.8), worthwhile (8.1), happiness (7.7) and locus of control (17.2) than those without access to a car (17.8, 7.0, 7.1, 7.0 and 16.6 respectively). They also reported lower levels of anxiety (2.7 compared with 3.5) and feelings of loneliness (18.0% compared with 40.4%).

Publication

The report is available on the Executive Office's website at: www.executiveoffice-ni.gov.uk/publications/wellbeing-NI-202122

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