Well-being, satisfaction and ethnicity

Differences in well-being by ethnicity, April 2013: ONS

  • People from the Black ethnic group were on average least satisfied with their lives out of all the broad ethnic groups in the UK (6.7 out of 10). Bangladeshi (7.0 out of 10) and Mixed/multiple groups (7.1 out of 10) also gave lower ratings on average than the White ethnic group (7.4 out of 10).
  • All other ethnic groups, gave on average, lower ratings than the White ethnic group when asked to assess the extent they feel the things they do in life are worthwhile. Bangladeshi gave the lowest average ratings (7.3 out of 10) compared with the White group (7.7 out of 10).
  • Day-to-day emotions including happiness and anxiety also differ by ethnic group. Indian respondents reported higher levels of anxiety yesterday (3.4 out of 10) compared with the White ethnic group (3.1 out of 10), which is in contrast to happiness yesterday, life satisfaction, and worthwhile things in life where their responses were similar.
  • On average all ethnic groups reported higher levels of anxiety than the White ethnic group.
  • Within each ethnic group, there was little difference between men’s and women’s assessment of their own well-being.

The differences observed between ethnic groups in subjective well-being may in part be caused by the way that different people with different ethnic backgrounds respond to these questions, but also the varied responses reflect the different circumstances that people find themselves in.