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What is this report?
This report provides an update on progress being made in Wales towards the achievement of the 7 wellbeing goals. It is a statutory report required under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. It is a report concerning the collective progress of Wales as a nation. It is not a report on the performance of an individual organisation. The first report was published in September 2017.
This year we have published a supplementary ethnicity and well-being report. This report contains supplementary analysis of the data contained in the Well-being of Wales report providing breakdowns for ethnic minority groups.
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act (UK legislation) is about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing of Wales. It is intended to make the public bodies listed in the Act think more about the long-term, work better with people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined-up approach. This in turn is intended to create a Wales that we all want to live in, now and in the future.
The Act also puts in place 7 wellbeing goals for a prosperous, healthier, resilient, more equal and globally responsible Wales, with cohesive communities and a vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language.
For more background information on the Act please see the Essentials guide.
What are the national indicators for Wales?
The Act required Welsh Ministers to set national indicators to assess progress towards achieving the wellbeing goals. From September 2015 to January 2016 Welsh Government undertook a widespread public consultation to identify what small set of indicators should be developed to best measure progress against the wellbeing goals. These national indicators were published in March 2016 and laid before the National Assembly for Wales.
In 2021, Welsh Government asked for views on possible new indicators based on the learning from COVID-19. Based on these responses and wider input, some indicators have been updated and 4 new national indicators have been included and the indicator set was updated in December 2021.
The national indicators are designed to represent the outcomes for Wales, and its people that will help demonstrate progress towards the 7 wellbeing goals. They are not intended to be performance indicators for an individual organisation.
Full description of the national indicators including their technical definition and information about their data sources and frequency can be found in the technical document.
How does this relate to the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a transformative plan of action based on 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to address urgent global challenges over the next 15 years. The United Nations’ 17 global goals mean that every country on the planet will have to take action to end poverty, promote prosperity and wellbeing for all, protect the environment, and address climate change. Those goals are meant to be far-reaching, people-centred, universal, and transformative. UN member states have committed to working tirelessly towards their implementation by 2030, and Wales will play its part.
Many national indicators will help tell a story of progress in Wales against more than one of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. We have mapped the indicators against the goals.
What are the national milestones?
As well as setting national indicators, the Act also requires Welsh Ministers to set national milestones to assist in measuring whether progress is being made at a national level towards the achievement of the wellbeing goals. Following development and consultation throughout 2021, the first wave of national milestones were laid before the Senedd in December 2021 and the second wave were laid in November 2022.
Who produced this report?
The report has been produced by Welsh Government statisticians under the responsibility of the Welsh Government’s Chief Statistician. It has been produced in line with the Code of Practice for Statistics and is therefore produced independently of political influence.
The report has been published in September to ensure it is as close as possible to the end of the preceding financial year, but after the publication of the National Survey for Wales which is the source for 13 of the national indicators.
The data for the national indicators will be kept up to date as new datasets are published for those indicators.
This report covers a wide range of subjects, and therefore in this report it is only possible to consider high level measures of progress. More in depth analysis of many of these topics are available through the range of statistical releases published by Welsh Government, the ONS or other statistical producers.
The coverage of the report is Wales. For some indicators, reference is made to the position relative to the UK. The narrative against the goals and for each indicator is based on national progress against the goals, and it does not seek to provide a report on progress at different geographical levels. However, data for many indicators are available on StatsWales, or on request, at lower levels of geographical detail.
This report has been produced as an online report to improve the accessibility, responsiveness, and user experience.
The majority of the data underlying the report, including much more detailed breakdowns, are available on StatsWales and through the StatsWales open data services.
Are all the data official statistics?
Last year, the Wellbeing of Wales report was given National Statistics status. This means it has been independently assessed as meeting the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality, and value.
Most of the indicators (36) are based on sources that have been published as official statistics. That is, they have been published by government statisticians, or by other public bodies, under the Code of Practice for Statistics.
28 of these indicators are based on sources that have been published as National Statistics. That is the UK Statistics Authority has designated these statistics as National Statistics, signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Statistics. This means that they meet the highest standards of trustworthiness, quality, and public value.
12 indicators are based on other sources such as administrative data held by government departments. 2 indicators currently have no data.
What else should I know about the data?
The quality report for national indicators reports alongside this release provides links to quality information about each of the data sources used to measure the national indicators, or provides that information where it does not exist elsewhere.
Whilst most of the narrative in the Wellbeing of Wales report is drawn from national indicators, some of the contextual data is from other official statistics or other statistics and evidence where we have considered it relevant to the overall narrative. The data not collected through official statistics sources are used in the Wellbeing of Wales report for context, but we cannot always provide assurance about data quality. As the data in the progress report have been sourced from a variety of datasets, the level of quality information available will differ in each case. We have provided links to the original sources and their quality information where they exist.
Throughout the report, references to calendar, financial and academic years are used. When referencing academic years, '/' are used ( e.g. 2021/22), and for financial years '-' are used ( e.g. 2021-22).
Who are the users of this report?
It is anticipated this report will be used by Welsh Government; the Senedd (including Members of the Senedd and its committees); the media; and the general public to help understand (i) the Wellbeing of Wales (ii) progress being made against the 7 wellbeing goals and (iii) where Wales is making progress against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The national indicators and milestones can help public bodies who are subject to the future generations law understand further the nature of the change expected in achieving the wellbeing goals. The national indicators should be considered as useful evidence to assist public bodies in understanding the main areas where progress should be made in relation to the wellbeing goals.
The national indicators will also have a specific role as they must be referred to by public services boards in Wales when they are analysing the state of economic, social, environmental, and cultural wellbeing in their areas. The report should also be used by public bodies to develop and review wellbeing assessments and to set and review wellbeing objectives required under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.
The annual Wellbeing of Wales report must also be taken into account by the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales when they prepare and publish their ‘Future Generations Report’.
For the UK as a whole, the Office for National Statistics has a National Wellbeing Programme. The well-being dashboard (Office for National Statistics) provides a visual overview of 44 headline national wellbeing indicators and can be explored by the 10 areas of life (domains) or by the direction of change.
In Scotland, the National Performance Framework (NPF) sets out a vision for national wellbeing and measures achievement in relation to this. A revised NPF was launched in June 2018 following an open review process and is underpinned by statute (the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act 2015).
The revised NPF maps its eleven National Outcomes to the seventeen UN
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and forms an important part of Scotland’s localisation of the SDG agenda. Progress towards the vision set out in the NPF is reported on in an open and transparent way on the National Performance Framework website through 81 national indicators covering a broad range of social, economic and environmental measures. In additional to showing performance at the national level the data can be explored by a range of demographic and geographic subgroups to see whether outcomes are being realised for different parts of Scottish society.
In Northern Ireland, the principal mechanism for assessing societal wellbeing is the wellbeing framework of 12 outcomes that was developed by the previous Executive, consulted on and refined during 2016-2017. This framework, which contains 49 supporting population indicators, overarches the Northern Ireland Civil Service Outcomes Delivery Plan.
Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency continues to participate in the ONS-led Measuring National Well-being programme and publish a wellbeing analysis (Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency) based on the ONS wellbeing measures, where Northern Ireland data availability allows.