According to a study carried out by the Office of National Statistics immigration is no longer the nations number one priority as it was replaced by health concerns.
Figures were published by Office of National Statistics revealing that as the nation prepares to leave the EU later this month , the general population’s mood has become a lot happier and their priorities have been shifted. The ONS report is called ‘Measuring national well-being in the UK: international comparisons, 2019’ it compares personal well-being levels within the UK and with the rest of Europe. In Spring 2016 the British people’s main concern was immigration, followed by health, social security and terrorism. However a year later in 2018 health and social security had overtaken international concerns and was followed by concerns of housing and the rising cost of inflation and living.
Economists believe that the shift signals “a return to traditional, domestic issues” as the UK prepares to leave Europe and the Brexit negotiations are underway. Christopher Snowdon, head of lifestyle economics at the Institute of Economic Affairs(IEA) said of the trend: “It’s very obvious that people concerned about immigration believe that Brexit is going to be a way to reduce it.”
“There’s a perception that Britain is getting control back of their borders so people are focussing on the traditional issues like health and the NHS, social security and spending,” he added.
The report found that in 2016, 38 per cent of Britons prioritised immigration as their main concern, followed by 26 concerned by health and social security. By 2018, the nation’s priorities had shifted: 33 per cent of people said health and social security was their main concern, while dropped to 21 per cent. Meanwhile across the EU, the most frequently cited issues in 2018 were unemployment (25 per cent) and health and social security (23 per cent).
Overall, however, Britons are looking positive. Personal well-being levels have also improved in the UK, as have mental health scores – increasing by 4.6 per cent between 2011 and 2016 to 63.2 per cent. This is close to the EU average of 64 per cent.