Measuring National Well-being – exploring the well-being of young people in the UK, 2014

Publication type



Measuring National Well-being


  1. -

Publication date

December 15, 2014


There were around 7.5 million young people aged 16 to 24 in the UK in
2012, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) mid-year population estimates.
This is an important age of transition from childhood to adulthood, and
the ways in which this transition is negotiated may affect current and
future well-being. Arnett (2004) coined the phrase ‘emerging adulthood’
to describe this stage of life. As many have yet to make ‘the
transitions historically associated with adult status’, such as marriage
and parenthood, the aspects of life affecting a young person’s
well-being will differ from those of the rest of the adult population,
and those that are the same may differ in their impact.
The framework
for measuring national well-being indicators is grouped into ten
domains. These domains of well-being are consistent at all ages. Most of
the national well-being measures for the adult population also apply to
16 to 24 year olds. However, there are some measures which are
particularly relevant for young people, such as not being in education,
employment and training. Three domains – governance, natural environment
and economy – are more contextual, so are not included in the young
people’s measurement framework.
ONS has developed a provisional set of headline measures of young people’s well-being across seven domains, alongside a set of measures for children up to the age of 15. In March 2014, ONS published a consultation on the first iteration of these measures.  The consultation response
was published in July 2014 and an updated set of measures will be
published in 2015. This report presents a baseline for 27 of the 28
measures1 young people’s well-being. It considers how selected measures compare across age groups, change over time or differ by gender2 for young people aged 16 to 24. A similar analysis of the children’s measures was published in October 2014.

Published in

Health Statistics Quarterly





Latest findings, new research

Publications search

Search all research by subject and author


Researchers discuss their findings and what they mean for society


Background and context, methods and data, aims and outputs


Conferences, seminars and workshops

Survey methodology

Specialist research, practice and study

Taking the long view

ISER's annual report


Key research themes and areas of interest