Take the test: Where in Britain would you be happiest?

1. Before you start

Take the simple personality test below – and find out how your personality and the place where you live affect your happiness.

Until now, we've decided on where we should live based on things like job, family, friends, schools, colleges, countryside and nightlife. But now new research suggests different districts of Britain have distinct personality traits. And how well our personality fits with the people around us can contribute to our happiness.

The test below will reveal your personality traits and based on the research, it will predict the place in Britain that would make you happiest, or least happy, based solely on your personality profile.

2. INTERACTIVE: Take the test

3. How does personality affect your happiness?

The predictions made in this test are based on research by scientists at the universities of Cambridge and Helsinki. In a collaboration with BBC Lab UK in 2009, they conducted The Big Personality Test – a survey of the personalities and life satisfaction of over half a million people who completed the survey questionnaire to find out more about their personality traits. After years of analysis, the scientists have published their research. Your 'happiest place' result is based on these studies.

Clusters of personality traits

In the original survey, researchers used a more in-depth version of the questionnaire in the test above, called the Big Five Inventory. The Big Five measures these personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism. They found that certain traits clustered in regions around Britain. For example, people living in metropolitan areas like Manchester or London were very open. High levels of agreeableness were found throughout most of Scotland, and pockets of the Midlands were particularly conscientious.

But beyond this, the scientists noticed that the better people’s own personality traits fitted with those of their neighbours, the happier they were with life.

Personality and life satisfaction

The researchers measured people's happiness using a widely recognised scientific survey called the Satisfaction With Life Scale. In the test above, the scale has been converted into a percentage. A life satisfaction of over 68% is above average and under 57% is below average.

The scientists' analysis of The Big Personality Test data showed two main effects. People who were open to new experiences tended to be happier if they lived amongst other highly open people, perhaps allowing them to exchange ideas and experiences more easily. But those who were highly conscientious were more satisfied in an area that was low in conscientiousness. Their self-discipline and more conformist nature seem to make them happier in these environments.

David Shukman talks to lead researcher Dr Jason Rentfrow and locals around Britain to explore how personality traits are clustered across the country (from BBC News).

Learn more about this topic:

How do I keep my brain young?
Would you visit 'Celtic Britain'?
Geography: The Big Issues