UK's Happiness Boosted By Olympics and Queen's Diamond Jubilee

Team GB fans in front of The Thames Olympic Rings
Team GB fans in front of The Thames Olympic Rings

The Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee celebrations are thought to have boosted people's happiness over the last year, according to research.

The latest findings from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) annual population survey found small improvements in personal well-being in the UK between 2011/12 and 2012/13.

The percentage of people reporting higher levels of life satisfaction, feeling that the things they do in life are worthwhile, and happiness levels all increased while the percentage reporting higher levels of anxiety declined.

Between 2011/12 and 2012/13 the proportion of people rating their life satisfaction as seven or more out of 10 rose from 75.9% to 77%.

There was also a reduction in the proportion of people rating their anxiety at a higher level of six or more out of 10, falling from 21.8% to 20.9%.

The data show differences in personal well-being between groups of the population.

For example, people aged 45 to 49 rated their life satisfaction lower than any other age group and black people lower than any other ethnic group.

There were no significant changes between the years for unemployed people, whose average life satisfaction remained below those in employment.

Other non-official sources show an improvement in personal well-being for similar periods. They also show that life satisfaction in the UK changed less between 2007 and 2011 than in other European countries.

The study says factors influencing "personal well-being are complex and will differ from person to person".

But it added: "The period of 2012/13 also included several special events in the UK, such as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee (in June 2012) which included a special bank holiday and the 2012 Summer Olympic and Paralympic games (July to early September 2012).

"These events could also have potentially influenced people's assessment of their personal well-being in the 2012/13 period."