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The M&S Family Index Report, June 2021

Introducing the M&S Family Index

The first M&S Family Matters Index is the benchmark study to understand what really matters to families in the UK, today and in the years to come. Through regular quarterly reports we will explore what family life looks like, the challenges families face, and their ambitions and plans for the future.

In this first report we will be focussing on three core themes:

  • What family means today 
  • Why family matters 
  • What matters to families today 

As we emerge from lockdown, the M&S Family Matters Index will provide an overall measure of how confident and resilient families across the UK are feeling and how those feelings change in the months and years ahead.

The index has been generated using data from a nationally representative survey of 10,000 people across the country, enabling us to track changing attitudes around family over time as well as comparing how they vary from group to group. The Index score is a combination of different factors that define the resilience and confidence of families today:

  • Optimism about family prospects
  • Feelings about the strength of families
  • Happiness of families
  • Family health
  • Family financial prospects

The overall Family Index Score is 55. Index scores above 50 represent a positive, optimistic perspective about family situations and prospects. 



Yonder conducted eight online focus groups with adults from across the UK. Participants spanned a wide range of ages and family situations. 

Each focus group took the form of a structured two-hour discussion about what ‘family’ means, the feelings and values that people associate with families and the range of hopes, fears, issues and priorities that relate to family life in the UK today. Groups were conducted between 4th and 8th February 202. 

The qualitative insight and outputs from the focus groups informed an online questionnaire about family, which was completed by a nationally representative sample of 10,000 adults between 4th & 17th March 2021. The purpose of such a large survey sample is to enable us to look with confidence at the responses of different demographic sub-groups and to present a picture of UK families that reflects and captures its diversity. 

Overall, the findings from the quantitative survey are accurate to a margin of error of less than 1% and analysis of demographic sub-groups is based on a minimum sample of 100.