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Wellbeing

  • HAGIS collects a number of measures of individual well-being in its self-report questionnaire. These cover life satisfaction, whether individuals feel their life is worthwhile, their happiness and their level of anxiety
  • The distributions derived from the HAGIS data are quite similar to the distribution of well-being among older Scots drawn from other sources
  • The different measures of well-being are positively correlated, though not always that highly, implying that they capture different aspects of individuals’ feelings of latent well-being
  • Typically, life satisfaction increases with age and is higher for those living as a couple than those living alone
  • Health has a very significant impact on well-being: compared with someone in excellent health, poor health reduces life satisfaction by 2.5 points on a 10 point scale
  • There are no clear patterns in well-being that depend on the type of area in which HAGIS respondents reside. Thus, there are no significant differences in life satisfaction between those living in the most deprived 25% of Scotland’s data zones and those living in the most affluent 25% of Scotland’s data zones
  • Using life satisfaction questions that have been validated in other surveys enables comparisons with other datasets. The ONS Annual Population Survey (APS) asks the same life satisfaction question as HAGIS. Estimating the same model of life satisfaction in HAGIS and APS shows that individual characteristics typically influence life satisfaction in the same direction. However, the much larger APS sample means that estimates from the APS model are likely to be much more precise
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