Outer Hebrides ‘happiest’ place to live in UK

Scarista beach, Harris.  Picture: Donald MacLeod
Scarista beach, Harris. Picture: Donald MacLeod
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The Outer Hebrides is officially the happiest place to live in the United Kingdom.

That is the verdict of a Government wellbeing survey which questioned people’s levels of happiness around the UK.

The Western Isles is the place where people gave the highest score to the question, ‘how happy were you yesterday?’.

Respondents rated their average happiness as 8.2 out of 10 in 2015/16, up from 8.1 in 2014/15, meaning the area overtakes Fermanagh and Omagh in Northern Ireland, which was the happiest place in 2013/14 and 2014/15, as the happiest place in the UK.

People in East Northamptonshire are the least likely to give high marks for happiness the day before, with people there scoring an average of 7 out of 10.

People in Mid and East Antrim find have the highest life satisfaction, rating it as 8.4 out of 10, while people in Corby have the lowest, 6.9 out of 10.

People in Hammersmith and Fulham felt the most anxious, scoring levels the previous day at 3.7 out of 10, while those in the Orkney Islands were the least anxious, just 1.9 out of 10.

Reported personal well-being had improved every year since the financial year ending 2012, when data were first collected; however, the financial year ending 2016 sees the first instance where there has not been an annual improvement

Dawn Snape, Quality of Life, Office for National Statistics, said: “We have seen personal well-being improving on a UK-wide basis over the past five years. But today’s data paints a richer picture, enabling people to explore what’s been happening in their local area.

“This will help individuals, communities and local authorities to look at well-being locally alongside other traditional measures of progress.”

The 4 personal well-being questions are:

• overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?

• overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?

• overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?

• overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

People are asked to respond on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is “not at all” and 10 is “completely”.

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