People in West Lothian and Falkirk council areas among country’s unhappiest

The ONS carries out research every year to gauge the personal well-being of people across the nation.
The ONS carries out research every year to gauge the personal well-being of people across the nation.
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People in the West Lothian and Falkirk council areas are among the least happy in Scotland, a new survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

The ONS carries out research every year to gauge the personal well-being of people across the nation.

It includes asking respondents aged 16 or over to rank their happiness, life satisfaction and sense of the things they do in life being worthwhile on a scale from zero to 10.

The average happiness score for people in West Lothian and Falkirk in 2018-19 was 7.40 – one of the lowest in Scotland. Across the country, the average score was 7.52, while the figure across the UK stood at 7.56.

Happiness scores have risen gradually across the UK since the survey began in 2011-12, when it was 7.29.

People were also asked to rate their level of anxiety over a given day, from zero to 10.

The average score in West Lothian was 2.77, a slight rise on the previous year. The average in Falkirk was 3.04, again, a slight rise on 2018.

This bucked the trend across the UK, which saw a small drop in anxiety levels last year, to 2.87 – the joint lowest since 2015-16.

A spokeswoman for mental health charity Mind cautioned that well-being levels can vary around the country, and can be affected by different factors. “Poverty, isolation, housing and access to green spaces, for example, can all affect our mental health,” she added.

“While life events such as job losses, which might happen to many people in one community at a time, can also play a part.”