UK 'a more upbeat nation' in 2017

A line of people jumping

The UK is a slightly more positive place to be than it was last year, an official survey suggests.

The UK's level of life satisfaction, as measured by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), has edged up to a record 7.7 out of 10.

Last year, the level was 7.6.

"Average ratings of life satisfaction and happiness were at their highest levels in the year ending March 2017 since we began measuring personal well-being in 2011," said the ONS.

The country's happiness level was 7.5 out of 10, a slight increase.

The survey also measures how anxious people are and whether they feel that what they do in life is worthwhile. These figures were unchanged at 2.9 and 7.9 respectively.

As in previous years, people in Northern Ireland continued to report the highest levels of satisfaction and happiness, at 7.9 and 7.7, both above the UK average.

They were also less anxious than elsewhere in the UK, with a score of 2.6, and seem to lead more worthwhile lives, notching up a level of 8.1.

Matthew Steel of the ONS said the figures might prove surprising to some people, since they came during a period of political change and uncertainty in the UK.

However, he added: "It's worth noting that employment rates rose during the period covered by this report, and other ONS analysis showed people perceiving an improvement in their own financial situations and in the overall economy.

"These are factors we believe may account for some people's increased sense of personal well-being."

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