Keep calm…Scots are the least anxious in the UK

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SCOTS are the least anxious compared with other people in the UK, according to new data from the Office of National Statistics.

The data, released yesterday, is part of the first ONS National Wellbeing programme to include questions about wellbeing with findings based on people’s self-assessment of their contentment levels.

Although the statistics are experimental, they reveal differences in people’s “happiness” according to a variety of factors, including sex, employment, age, marital status and ethnic background.

The data was gathered from 80,000 adults across the UK from April to September 2011.

People were asked four questions: how satisfied they are with their lives; to what extent they feel the things they do in their life are worthwhile; how happy they felt yesterday; and how anxious they felt yesterday.

When asked about anxiety, people north of the Border scored 3.08 out of ten, compared with 3.23 for Northern Ireland, 3.20 for England and 3.14 for Wales.

Scots also reported higher wellbeing than England on all four measures.

The data suggests married couples are more satisfied with their lives than those who cohabit; women are generally more satisfied and happier, yet also more anxious than men; and people are less satisfied and more anxious the longer they are unemployed.

Charles Seaford, head of the centre for wellbeing at New Economics Foundation, an independent think-tank, said: “Wellbeing data provides us with an insight to what really matters to people in the UK.

“Today’s ONS statistics will help policy-makers to identify where interventions are most needed, and better understand the impact that any interventions may have.”