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Northern Ireland Boasts Best Wellbeing in UK

Northern Ireland Boasts Best Wellbeing in UK

Nation has better life ratings, workplaces, and access to necessities

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Residents of Northern Ireland have higher overall wellbeing than those in England, Scotland, or Wales, according to Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data from 2011. Wales had the lowest overall wellbeing score.

Wellbeing in the UK, 2011

These findings are based on 12,800 interviews conducted from January through December 2011 with adults aged 18 and older in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

The Well-Being Index is composed of six sub-indexes that include 55 individual items that collectively measure the physical, emotional, and fiscal wellbeing of residents in the UK.

Northern Ireland's higher overall wellbeing is due to its better life ratings, work environment perceptions, and access to basic necessities. However, the country stands out the most on the Work Environment Index, which is of particular note, as this is a wellbeing weakness of the UK in general.

Still, Northern Ireland does not do best on all areas of wellbeing. Britons have the best healthy behaviors and emotional health in the UK. Residents of Scotland report the best physical health.

WEllbeing Sub-Indexes in the UK, 2011

Work Environment Key to Northern Ireland's Wellbeing Advantage

Northern Ireland outperforms the other countries in the UK across the three main Work Environment Index metrics. Workers in Northern Ireland are more likely to say they get to use their strengths at work, that their supervisor treats them like a partner, and that their supervisor creates a trusting and open environment.

Work Environment Wellbeing in the UK, 2011

Bottom Line

Northern Ireland outperforms the other nations in the UK in overall wellbeing. Residents there have higher life ratings, better workplace perceptions, and greater access to basic necessities than do those living in England, Scotland, or Wales. Workplace wellbeing is a particular strong suit for Northern Ireland, with workers' perceptions of their work environments more in line with those found in the United States than throughout the rest of the UK.

Still, Northern Ireland lags other countries in the UK on important physical health measures. It is Britons who have the best health habits across the UK and the residents of Scotland who boast the best physical health. Leaders in each of these nations should learn from one another to enhance the overall wellbeing of all UK residents.

About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks wellbeing in the U.S., U.K., and Germany and provides best-in-class solutions for a healthier world. To learn more, please visit

Survey Methods

Results are based on 12,800 telephone interviews with UK adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Jan. 2-Dec. 30, 2011, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. By country, 8,793 surveys were completed in England, 1,091 in Scotland, 670 in Wales, and 393 in Northern Ireland.

For the various counties discussed in this article, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error ranges from no more than ±6 percentage points (for Northern Ireland) to ±1 percentage point (for England).

Interviews in the UK are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones. Each daily sample includes a minimum quota of 5 mobile phone respondents and 29 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within the regions. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, education, region, adults in the household, and cell phone status. Demographic weighting targets are based on the most recently published population data from the Census Bureau for Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, and Wales. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit


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