Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

People in Fife are the happiest in Scotland, survey says

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People in Fife have gone from being among the least happy in Scotland to the most happy, a new survey suggests.

The region has taken the top spot in the Bank of Scotland's Happiness Index, knocking last year's winner, the Highlands, into second place.

In the past 12 months, Fife has jumped from a happiness score of +35.56 to +56.56, which is well above the Scotland average of +40.43.

Those aged 65 and over, and women, remain the happiest in Scotland.

The index attempts to quantify how happy people are in the communities in which they live.

Two fifths (41%) of Fifers said they were "very happy" living in their community, which is almost double last year's 23%.

Family time

The amount of residents in Fife saying they were unhappy living in their community reduced to 7% this year, from 13% last year.

The report authors suggest this could be because they are the region focusing most on spending time with family and are also taking time to focus on pursuing hobbies and interests, as well as progress their career.

Although now in second place, the Highlands' happiness score of +50.56 is still an improvement on last year's score of +47.73.

Dundonians are least happy living in their community, falling from a 2015 happiness score of +44.3 to +31.01 this year.

Overall though, Scots are generally happier than they were last year. There has been a slight increase in the overall happiness score for Scotland, which is now +40.43 compared to +39.02 last year.

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Women happier

Women were again found to be happier than men with both seeing a slight improvement on last year.

Although those aged 65 and over remain the happiest in Scotland, there was a slight dip in their score.

Those aged 18-24 are still the least happy.

Those on a household income of £25,000-£39,999 are the most happy in Scotland.

Rachel Bright, Bank of Scotland's head of customer service said: "This year, Fife's happiness score has increased over 20 points, putting them at the top of the Happiness Index and pushing the Highlands into second place.

"There has been a slight increase in the overall happiness score for Scotland as a whole, with women remaining happier than men. As we saw last year, happiness increases with age, and pensioners are once more the happiest age group in Scotland."

How does the survey work?

The research was compiled by YouGov and the findings are based on 3,056 online interviews with a nationally representative sample of adults aged 16 and over living in Scotland.

The index was created by assigning a score between 100 and -100 to people's responses to the question: "Taking everything into account, how happy or unhappy would you say you are living in your community?"

The average happiness score was then calculated using the values: -100 for a response of "Very unhappy", -50 for "Somewhat unhappy", a score of zero for "Neither happy nor unhappy", +50 for "Somewhat happy" and +100 for a response of "Very happy".

Happiest by region

  1. Fife
  2. Highlands & Islands
  3. Mid-Scotland
  4. South Scotland
  5. Lothians
  6. West Scotland
  7. Aberdeen & surrounds
  8. Glasgow
  9. North East Scotland
  10. Central
  11. Dundee & surrounds

Happiest by age

  1. 65 and over
  2. 55+
  3. 45-54
  4. 35-44
  5. 25-34
  6. 18-24

Happiest by income

  • Household income
  1. £25,000-£39,999
  2. £60,000 or more
  3. £40,000-£59,999
  4. £15,000-£24,999
  5. Up to £14,999
  • Personal income
  1. £60,000 or more
  2. £40,000-£59,999
  3. £25,000-£39,999
  4. £15,000-£24,999
  5. Up to £14,999

Interviews were conducted between 2 December 2015 and 9 December 2015.

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