What are the top five happiest parts of the UK?

 

The BBC's Mark Easton says well-being is about a lot more than money

I need more time to digest the new statistics on national well-being, but one finding got me sitting bolt upright in my chair today.

Among the four questions asked as part of the survey is "Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?" Respondents must pick a score between 0 and 10 with any score below three being regarded as indicative of a pretty chilled-out individual.

So where are the most relaxed places in the UK? You take the high road and head north.

The least anxious area is the most northerly - Eilean Siar, Orkney & Shetland. In the outer isles some 71% scored three or less. Next is Moray. Then Aberdeenshire followed by Angus and Highland. The five most laid back places in Britain are all in the north of Scotland.

And the region doesn't just do well on its anxiety rating. Eilean Siar, Orkney & Shetland also comes out top when people were asked how happy they were yesterday and how worthwhile they considered their life.

The only category in which the remote islands off our most northerly coasts failed to come top was when asked to rate their life satisfaction - they came second behind Bath and North Somerset.

It is not pots of money or a fancy car. It is clearly not the weather. There is something about a simple rural lifestyle that is associated with high levels of well-being. Is porridge a factor?

Now have a look at the five most anxious places: Leicestershire, Inner London, Middlesbrough, South Ayrshire and Peterborough. It is much harder to discern any clear pattern with this group but I have no doubt that with a bit of digging academics will unearth the important correlations.

I thought it might be useful to list the top and bottom five places for each of the four questions asked as part of the Subjective Well-Being Annual Population Survey. What conclusions can we draw?

Do you feel the things you do in life are worthwhile?

Top five 0-6 7-10

Rankings: 0 = not at all, 10 = completely

Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney & Shetland

11.32%

88.68%

Rutland UA

12.81%

87.19%

Aberdeenshire

14.03%

85.97%

Highland

14.14%

85.86%

Warrington UA

14.16%

85.84%

Bottom five

0-6

7-10

West Midlands Met County

25.15%

74.85%

Stoke-on-Trent UA

25.43%

74.57%

North Ayrshire

25.69%

74.31%

Torfaen

25.85%

74.15%

Glasgow City

26.01%

73.99%

Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?

Top five 0-6 7-10

Bath and North East Somerset UA

14.63%

85.37%

Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney & Shetland

14.82%

85.18%

Rutland UA

14.86%

85.14%

Aberdeenshire

16.25%

83.75%

York UA

17.01%

82.99%

Bottom five

0-6

7-10

Merthyr Tydfil

30.30%

69.70%

West Midlands Met County

30.47%

69.53%

Blaenau Gwent

31.23%

68.77%

North Ayrshire

31.24%

68.76%

Torfaen

32.76%

67.24%

Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday

Top five 0-6 7-10

Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney & Shetland

17.15%

82.85%

Rutland UA

19.21%

80.79%

Anglesey, Isle of

22.73%

77.29%

Wiltshire UA

22.87%

77.13%

West Berkshire UA

22.96%

77.04%

Bottom five

0-6

7-10

North Ayrshire

34.01%

65.99%

Blaenau Gwent

34.14%

65.86%

Swansea

34.25%

65.75%

County Durham UA

34.72%

65.28%

Blackpool

36.55%

63.45%

Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

Top five 0-3 4-10

* Note difference 0-3 and 4-10

Na h-Eileanan Siar, Orkney & Shetland

70.71%

29.29%

Moray

67.98%

32.02%

Aberdeenshire

67.95%

32.05%

Angus

67.71%

32.29%

Highland

67.56%

32.44%

Bottom five

0-3

4-10

Peterborough UA

54.49%

45.51%

South Ayrshire

54.29%

45.71%

Middlesbrough UA

54.23%

45.77%

Inner London

53.96%

46.04%

Leicestershire

51.71%

48.29%

Let me know your thoughts.

 
Mark Easton Article written by Mark Easton Mark Easton Home editor

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 77.

    I would have to say that the U.S. Olympic Village where all of those gold medals will be is about to become the happiest place in the UK.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 76.

    I have just moved to Aberdeen in the last month and when I heard the news this morning that Aberdeen is the 'happiest' city I was surprised, but after hearing the details it wasn't surprising. Unemployment is negliable, with most people in highly skilled technical and worthwhile jobs, beautiful countryside on our doorstep and friendly multicultural population. Plus in Scotland the government care!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 75.

    67. Nemesis of Socialism is Nigh
    The 5 happiest place in the U.K.
    Benefit & Welfare Rights Office.
    Immigration Advisory Office
    Pakistan Welfare & rights Office
    U.K. Over-Sea Aid Office

    ================================

    How can there be happiness where there are issues which could split kids up from families?

    I'd be happier if I didn't have to live in the same country as ignorant xenophobes.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 74.

    The happiest place for me?.......
    Plymouth ferry port on 7/12/2010 - the day I Ieft the UK to live in France. A place where no-one cares what car you drive or if you have the latest iPad, mobile phone or biggest TV screen. Life here is about living not about what you may or may not have.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 73.

    I read in the paper this morning that this survey is costing £2million per year and will continue in to 2015. Around £8million. Not a bad investment if the govt were going to do something about improving our happiness, but alas, I think it will just be to line their pockets.

    Sorry for the whinge

 

Comments 5 of 77

 

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