How satisfied are you with your life these days? How anxious did you feel yesterday? Rather personal questions, for sure, but the U.K.'s Office for National Statistics doesn't mind. It soon will be putting such questions to a sample of 200,000 Britons, as it tries to measure the U.K.'s national well-being for the first time.
Measuring national well-being is an idea that became popular in academic circles during the prefinancial-crisis era, when some wondered whether there is more to life than consistent economic growth amid low inflation.
These days, with U.K. inflation at 4%, the unemployment rate at 7.9%, and the imminent threat of higher interest rates as the economy teeters on the brink of recession, it isn't hard to imagine the sort of response the statisticians will get from many of their respondents.