The national baseline

What is the national baseline?

The national baseline is a sample of young people across the UK that have completed the well-being survey.

How is the national baseline used in NPC's Well-being Measure?

It is used in all the graphs and statistics generated in NPC's Well-being Measure to put results in context.

All well-being scores are on a percentale scale from 0 to 100, which means you can instantly see how the results for your group compare to others. For example, if your results show a score of 30% on self-esteem, it means that 30% of the national population has lower self-esteem than your group and 70% of the national population has higher self-esteem than your group.

In each graph, the national baseline is adjusted to account for the age and gender of respondents, so you can be sure that your results are not biased. For example, in a graph that shows a group of young people consisting of 40% boys and 60% girls aged 11 and 12, the national baseline is adjusted to reflect this.

Read an article on our blog about how we use the national baseline here.

How is the national baseline constructed?

The national baseline is a sample based on 6,603 young people that have completed the survey between 2009 and 2013. This is comprised of surveys across a variety of different settings, including mainstream schools and charity projects. However, it is not fully representative in terms of geographical, demographic or social spread.

We use the national baseline to create norms for boys and girls of different ages. These norms are based on the following samples.

  Sample size (total 6,603)
Age Male Female
11 526 405
12 665 480
13 844 787
14 633 603
15 554 449
16 334 323








(Sample sizes shown are for life satisfaction question and may vary for other questions.)

To assess whether our sample provides a satisfactory proxy baseline, we compared it to results of a national survey of the well-being of young people age 11 to 16 in 2008 published by The Children's Society. Our sample reported similar patterns when comparing boys and girls and different age groups within the sample.

How will you keep the national baseline up-to-date?

A condition of using NPC's Well-being Measure is that data is (anonymously) submitted to contribute to a sample of all the young people that have used it. As the well-being measure is used more and more, this sample will grow.

As the sample grows, it will enable us to learn more about the well-being of young people in the UK and increase our powers of analysis. As part of the survey, we request postcode data on individual young people which will enable us to produce a nationally-representative sample. This sample will be used to regularly update the national baseline.

Please note that the data in the national baseline is not available to subscribers or the public.

Last updated May 2014