Thriving Places Index puts the wellbeing of people, place and planet at the heart of UK decision-making

The Thriving Places Index is a new way to look at the strengths and challenges of the place where you live. It shows whether the conditions are in place for people to thrive – in a fair and sustainable way.

Is it a fair and equal place to live?

Is it sustainable enough so that future generations can flourish?

Are the conditions present for everyone to do well?

Created by Happy City, the Thriving Places Index is designed to provide a robust reporting framework that shows the conditions for wellbeing at a local level. It radically challenges the current paradigm that defines progress by purely economic and financial means.

Instead of focusing on just growing consumption and wealth for a few, the Thriving Places Index focuses on all the things that help people and places to do well.

It’s a way to see clearly what’s going well and what’s not going so well where you live.

What are thriving places?

Thriving places support our individual and societal wellbeing. When where we live thrives, the conditions are there for us to find good work, feel supported, live healthily, and meet everyone’s needs fairly, both now and in the future.

What makes a thriving place is complicated – but we’ve researched the various factors and combined and analysed indicator data to present a compelling and clear picture of how different local authority areas support people’s wellbeing.

What is the Thriving Places Index?

The Thriving Places Index consists of a broad set of indicators from datasets produced by established national data agencies such as the Office for National Statistics, Public Health England and the Index of Multiple Deprivation. It is the most comprehensive guide to local wellbeing economics available worldwide.

The Thriving Places Index is divided into three headline elements: Local Conditions, Sustainability and Equality. Local conditions comprises the drivers of wellbeing – the things that we know have an influence on an individual’s subjective wellbeing. This includes, for example, good physical and mental health, a good job, access to green space, affordable and good quality housing, and educational opportunities.

We select indicators that we know measure, or provide a proxy for, something that is known to influence on wellbeing. The indicator data topic must also be something that it is within the remit of a local authority to influence through policy and action.

They are brought together into a framework that paints a clear picture of the local conditions in all 373 local authority areas of England and Wales, and shows whether those conditions are being delivered equitably and sustainably.


You can use the TPI to

  • Understand what needs to be in place to create a fair, sustainable area that supports both individual and societal wellbeing
  • Compare how areas are doing across different dimensions or compare different areas with your own to get a comprehensive sense of how things are going
  • Focus on what would have the most impact in improving wellbeing and celebrate what’s already going well
  • Share ideas and inspiration for change across different sectors, organisations, groups and communities.
Author - Happy City

Author - Happy City

Founded in 2010, we are a small UK charity with a big mission: to ‘make what matters count’. Happy City offers a place-based model of change that puts the wellbeing of current and future generations centre stage. It does this by developing new measures of progress and delivering training, projects and campaigns to help embed them into how places work. Based in Bristol, Happy City works with organisations large and small from the public, private and community sector, right around the UK.

visit Happy City

This story is part of the Life Seeker newspaper

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