stalkThe Office for National Statistics (ONS) has published a set of measures of the national wellbeing for children aged 0-15, highlighting that 88% feel ‘unsafe walking in their neighbourhood after dark’ while more than a quarter regularly argue with their parents.

These statistics are among the latest output from the ONS Measuring National Well-being programme, which aims to provide vital information on key sub-groups, alongside a draft set of measures regarding young people aged 16 to 24.

In order to test personal wellbeing, the ONS developed three vital personal satisfaction questions - participants had to answer on a scale from 0-10. By combining these statistics researchers are able make an assessment of their life overall and provided an indication of their day-to-day emotions and the state of their personal relationships, including how supported they feel by their family. 

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society: "Decision-makers in public policy aim to raise living standards and improve the quality of life for citizens. For decades the main focus has been on raising living standards, through increasing economic growth, employment and household incomes. This appears to be changing.

"Although well-being will not be the only factor when making decisions – cost, delivery and strategic direction are also important factors – focusing on improving children’s life satisfaction will help make the UK a place where every child can look forward to a good childhood."

Impact of poverty in childhood
The latest data revealed that 28% of ten to 15-year olds argued with their mother more than once a week; this was 20% for fathers. And 75% ate a family meal three or more times in the last week.

Policy objectives to reduce health inequalities in the UK aim to give every child the best start in life, so everyone can enjoy a healthy standard of living. However, personal finance can have a significant impact on people’s sense of wellbeing - poverty in childhood has very strong associations with their outcomes later in life.

Further reading: Millions of children miss out on essential heating rebate 

Data collected reveals 14% of children live in workless households, while 17% lived in ones with less than 60% of median income.

There is also the latest data on health measures including the proportion of babies with low birth-weight (3%), conception rates for girls aged 13-15 (5.6 per 1,000), and obesity rates (28%).

Children unsafe after dark
Obesity has become an important public health issue in the turn of the 21st century - being overweight has links to long-term physical and mental health risks, including body dissatisfaction, social discrimination, low self-esteem and poor quality of life.

Children’s satisfaction with their appearance is also a key aspect of their overall wellbeing, and unhappiness with it can cause a range of mental-health problems, including depression and social isolation.

Finally there is the latest data on the proportion of children who exercise regularly in the last week (89%), those who have been a victim of crime in the last year (13%) and those who feel unsafe walking in their neighbourhood after dark (88%). And 12% said they had been victims of bullying four or more times in the last six months. There is currently no data available for cyber bullying, but this is under review.

To download the full list of 24 headline measures and the latest data collected, visit:
www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_355140.pdf