Are we more or less happy after the Brexit vote?

 
Lynsey Barber
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Happiness has remained at the same levels (Source: Getty)

The unexpected and shock result of the vote to leave Europe is just one of the events that has in recent months illustrated an increasingly divided world.

But, in this new territory of uncertain times, fake news, and where it sometime feels like up is down and black is white, just what effect is that having on the nation's wellbeing?

Read more: Bye-bye Single Market? What to expect from Theresa May's Brexit plan

A new set of figures shed some light on the matter for the first time: we're largely just as satisfied with life after the referendum as before, but anxiety has slightly increased.

The official figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) which measure the country's quality of life show anxiety was rated at 2.9 out of 10 for the year to the end of September 2016. That compares to 2.83 for the same period a year earlier.

Ratings for how worthwhile people felt their lives are remained the same at 7.84 out of 10, as did happiness at 7.48. Overall life satisfaction was largely flat at 7.66, up from 7.65.

"At a time when economic measures are generally improving, this is not necessarily reflected in how people tell us they are feeling about their lives," said Matthew Steel of the ONS.

"Whilst it is too early to say why anxiety ratings have increased slightly and why life satisfaction, happiness and worthwhile ratings have levelled off in the past 12 months, we know from our previous research that factors impacting most on people’s personal well-being include health, work situation and relationship status."

The ONS floated the idea that it could be could be "associated with the uncertainties surrounding governance, the economy and global security", however, as well as severe flooding in parts of the UK and "numerous terror attacks around the world".

It's the first time the official stats have been published on a quarterly, rather than yearly basis, and will allow for more timely insight into the changing feelings of the country. However, a full analysis of the pre-referendum and post-referendum periods will only be available in Autumn.

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