Personal wellbeing

Personal wellbeing estimates by London borough (2020/21)

Living standards are not just about poverty, income and wealth. A wide range of other factors contribute to living standards and well-being and, again, there is a large range of outcomes across London on many of these indicators. This indicator looks at the measures of well-being both in London and England before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both anxiety and life satisfaction are measured on a 0-10 scale, where 0 indicates low levels of anxiety and well-being, while 10 indicates high levels. As such, low anxiety scores indicate higher levels of well-being (lower anxiety), while low life satisfaction scores indicate lower levels of well-being.

In 2020/21, average well-being score in London (7.27) was lower than in England as a whole (7.38), with a substantial decrease in both scores compared to 2018/19 (7.58 and 7.71, respectively).

Amongst the London boroughs, Hounslow and Havering score the highest on life satisfaction in 2020/21 with an average of 7.55 and 7.54 respectively, in spite of the score in both boroughs decreasing from the 2018/19 levels. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Camden and Enfield have the lowest average life satisfaction, with a score of 6.78 and 6.86 respectively. Only two boroughs - Kensington and Chelsea and Lambeth - experienced an increase in life satisfaction between 2018/19 and 2020/21.

The levels of anxiety shot up between 2018/19 and 2020/21. The average anxiety score increased from 3.1 to 3.38 in London and from 2.87 to 3.31 in England. While the levels of anxiety in London are still higher than the English average, the difference became smaller following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The London boroughs with the highest anxiety score in 2020/21 were Hackney and Tower Hamlets (3.83 and 3.82, respectively), while Bromley and Croydon boasted the lowest anxiety scores (2.95 and 2.98). The majority of the boroughs experienced an increase in average anxiety between 2018/19 and 2020/21.

Note that comparisons across areas should be treated with a degree of caution due to differences in sample size. The average scores are meant as an indication of well-being and not as a direct measurement.

Anxiety estimates by London borough (2020/21)