According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Northern Ireland remains the happiest place in the UK.
Its wellbeing survey revealed that the five happiest places are Babergh, Suffolk, and Fermanagh, Dungannon, Omagh and Antrim in Northern Ireland.
Those that filled the spots of least happy are Dartford in Kent, Maldon in Essex, South Ribble in Lancashire, Torridge in Devon and Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria.
Lower than average personal wellbeing ratings were reported for London.
The survey of wellbeing revealed that in general people were more satisfied with their lives now than at any other time since 2011 when ONS started collecting data.
Researchers believe that the more positive economic climate in the UK may be a reason for the small improvements in personal wellbeing.
Although Northern Ireland once again offered higher ratings for every aspect of personal wellbeing than those in the UK, it has confused researchers as there is such a high unemployment rate in the area.
The co-author of the report, Dawn Snape, said it may be due to a sense of community, social connectivity, or how life is experienced now compared to 15 years ago.
In the study related to anxiety levels, Omagh and Antrim were once again among the top five least anxious areas, along with Wolverhampton and Warwick in the West Midlands, and Richmondshire in Yorkshire.
The highest anxiety levels were recorded in Hackney in London, followed by County Tyrone’s Cookstown, London’s Barking and Dagenham, Harborough in the East Midlands, and London’s Lambeth.
The survey involved the answering of four questions by 165000 respondents. These were:
• Overall, how satisfied are you with your life currently?
• Overall, to what extent do you feel the activities in your life are worthwhile?
• How happy were you yesterday?
• How anxious did you generally feel yesterday?
People were requested to provide answers based on a scale of zero to 10, where zero is ‘not at all’ and 10 ‘completely’.
The results from Northern Ireland indicated an eight for what they do in life is worthwhile, 7.7 for happiness, and 2.8 for anxiety. These figures differed substantially from the UK averages. People located in Scotland, England and Wales reported similar figures.
These statistics are used to inform decision makers in government, and complement traditional measures of progress, as well as quality of life, such as household income and unemployment.
Image Credit: William Murphy