Happiness may be subjective, but that doesn’t stop various organisations conducting surveys to discover the happiest place to live (and work) in Britain. How does your home town measure up?
In August, RightMove’s latest “Happy at Home” survey was published. They gave 24,000 respondents a list of 12 things on which to rank where they lived, including access to amenities and services, whether or not they felt safe, and community spirit. With the results, they have made a table of over 200 places.
For the last three years that Rightmove have done this study, Harrogate in North Yorkshire has been top. This year (2016) Leigh-on-Sea in Essex is top of the heap, followed by Troon in Scotland. Both are seaside towns, whereas Harrogate, some 60 miles inland, has to settle for third place.
In London, Richmond-upon-Thames is top borough, whereas Barking & Dagenham is right at the bottom of the whole of Britain.
The happiest place to live in Wales is Swansea.
Interestingly, although Leigh-on-Sea is number one, tenth from the bottom is Grays, not 20 miles away.
The whole table of results can be seen at http://www.rightmove.co.uk/news/happy-at-home
In July, the Office for National Statistics published the most recent results of their annual study of over 300,000 people who were asked about their Personal Well-being. 4 questions were asked, with the range of answers requested from 0 to 10 where 0 is “not at all”, and 10 is “completely”. The questions included how satisfied the respondents were with their lives nowadays, how happy did they feel yesterday and how anxious did they feel yesterday.
Looking at just the happiness question results, at the extremes, over 43% of the people in the Highlands of Scotland scored 9 or 10 for happiness, whereas in Bolsover in Derbyshire, over 17% said 4 or less.
Regionally, the happiest place in Wales is the Isle of Anglesey, where 39% of people said 9 or 10, whereas in Newport, over 13% reported scores of 4 or less on the happiness scale.
In London, Hounslow is happiest and Havering is least happy, and in the broader South East, Slough is least happy with Mid Sussex being happiest.
The South West shows Cornwall to be happiest, but residents of Gloucester are at the other end of the scale.
In the East of England, the residents of Great Yarmouth are the happiest, whereas St Albans is least happy.
The full report can be found on the Office for National Statistics website: http://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/wellbeing/bulletins
The Guardian asked employees about the best city to work in: Norwich came top, followed by Liverpool. while the Telegraph said that Keswick is the friendliest place to live, followed by Harrogate and Taunton.