Vibrant Human Quality of Life
Sense of Place
Psychological Wellbeing Index
Vital Sign Indicator
Percent (%)

No targets are currently set for this indicator.

Kelly Biedenweg
Contributing Partners
Last Updated
7/1/2021 3:55:07 PM
2020 mean psychological wellbeing index by county. Map created by Brian Katz. These and other human wellbeing data can be further explored with an interactive web interface at the link below.
The Psychological Wellbeing Index measures the percent of Puget Sound residents who experience inspiration and stress reduction while in nature. This index will help us understand whether the natural environment contributes to the psychological dimensions of human wellbeing.
Vital Sign Indicator Chart
Psychological Wellbeing Index
By: Response
Respondents answered questions related to feeling inspired as well as relieved of stress when spending time outside in the Puget Sound region using a five point scale ranging from 'Never' (1) to 'Frequently - Almost every day' (5).

The Psychological Wellbeing Index will help us understand whether Puget Sound residents experience inspiration and stress reduction while in nature. These are critical measures of whether the natural environment contributes to human wellbeing.

Key Vital Sign Indicator Results
  • The majority (67%) of respondents reported regularly experiencing stress reduction and inspiration while in Puget Sound natural environments.
  • The experience of psychological wellbeing in nature is slightly higher for counties in the north and west of Puget Sound. It is also slightly higher for non-Latinx respondents.
  • This is a minor, insignifant, increase since 2018.
Monitoring Program

Oregon State University Human Dimensions Lab

Data Source

Oregon State University Human Dimensions Lab

The Psychological Wellbeing Index is measured by using two survey questions to determine the degree to which engagement with the natural environment contributes to psychological wellbeing. An index is appropriate because each question measures a related, yet unique, aspect of the concept.

  • Inspiration: Frequency that residents experience inspiration from being in nature
  • Stress Reduction: Frequency that residents experience reduced stress from being in nature

Data are collected every 2 years via paper survey to a random sample of Puget Sound households. The population chosen for this survey was a clustered random sample of Puget Sound residents, with an initial sample of 9,000. Due to undeliverable addresses, the total sample reached was less than 9,000.  In 2020, the response rate was 25% for a total of 1,843 respondents.

Also appended is a 2021 purposive sample of 180 Latinx respondents who were selected using a Qualtrics panel, radio, newspaper and social media recruitment.


Critical Definitions
Interpretation of Results

Mean index score was 4.01, equating to “regularly (once a week)” experiencing stress reduction and inspiration while in Puget Sound natural environments. About 65% of the Puget Sound population had these experiences at least once a week or more frequently.

For the random sample of the Puget Sound, a multivariate linear regression model predicted 11% percent of the variation in responses to this indicator based on demographics. People who were more likely to experience psychological benefits from Puget Sound environments had been in the region fewer years, were on average more formally education, and were more likely to be non-white and liberal. For the purposive Latinx sample, people with higher life satisfaction were more liberal leaning and had higehr income (8.2% of variance explained). These metrics also strongly correlated to Life Satisfaction scores, which are a general measure of perceived satisfaction with life. Generally, Life Satisfaction is best predicted by close social relationships and work satisfaction, among others. The fact that experiences in the natural environmental are also correlated is an important finding for addressing wellbeing.

This is the second iteration of collecting these data. We do not anticipate significant differences to appear until several years of monitoring.


The Puget Sound Partnership believes in the transparency and accessibility of the data used to address progress measures. These data are provided by contributing partners to the Partnership and are made publicly available through the Puget Sound Info site. These data are available on an "as is" basis and the Partnership is not responsible for any errors, omissions, or inaccuracies. Please acknowledge the monitoring program and data source when using these data and obtain permission from the Vital Sign Indicator Reporter to use these data in a publication.

2020 HWB Data
Uploaded On
File Type
Excel (XLSX)
Results are presented for the subjective Human Wellbeing Vital Sign indicators. Data were collected via a survey to the general population of the Puget Sound Region in 2020. Please acknowledge the Oregon State University Human Dimensions Lab and Puget Sound Partnership when using these data.
Reporting Guidance
Reporting Instructions
Never, Rarely (1-4 times a year), Occasionally (Once a month), Regularly (Once a week), Frequently (Almost every day)