Measuring Progress: GDP & Beyond

The ONS mission to better inform understanding of economic, environmental and social progress more broadly than can be captured purely in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has taken another step forward. Under the banner ‘Quality of life in the UK’ we have begun publishing fresh estimates of national well-being alongside the latest monthly and quarterly estimates of GDP. Combined with the recently-added Climate Change Insights publication, this quarterly package aims to offer a more holistic view of our economic, environmental and social progress. Liz McKeown unveils the new ‘GDP& Beyond’ day and invites stats users to get involved in its continuing development.

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Who is paying for their own community care?

Image of a nurse visiting an elderly lady in her home

Last week’s first results from the England and Wales 2021 Census revealed, we are an increasingly ageing population. Nearly one in five of us (18.6%) – an estimated 11.1 million people – were aged 65 years and over in 2021.  Inevitably, this means that more people will require care, often in their own home.  Here, the ONS’s Head of Social Care Analysis, Dr Sophie John, explains the challenges of finding out how many people are paying for care in their own home.

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Are we facing a mental health pandemic?

Over the past year, much has been written on the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of children and adults. The Office for National Statistics has been working to monitor the effect of the last year’s events on people’s personal well-being and mental health. Two new pieces of analysis have been published today, providing early insights into self-reported depression in adults during the early 2021 lockdown, and experimental analysis of the number of depression diagnoses by GPs during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020. Here the authors Tim Vizard and Theo Joloza give the latest picture of what we know about depression and adults during the pandemic so far.

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Looking for explanations of changes in suicide rates

Following several years of decline, the number of suicides registered in England and Wales began to increase in 2018. Whenever a change in suicide rates occur, the reasons are complex and will rarely be because of one factor alone. Here, Ben Windsor-Shellard explains some of the possible explanations.   

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Developing the Health Index for England

In 2018, Dame Sally Davies, then Chief Medical Officer, called for an official index on England’s health. Her aim was to ensure that “health is recognised and treated as one of our nation’s primary assets…alongside GDP and the Measuring National Well-being programme.” As consultation on the proposed index gets under way, Greg Ceely explains the development work ONS has undertaken so far and what the provisional findings show.

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