People in Wiltshire are the fourth happiest in the country according to the results of a recent national survey.
With a happiness score of 77.1 percent, Wiltshire was beaten only by Anglesey (77.3), Rutland (80.8) and Eilean Siar, Orkney & Shetland (82.8).
The unhappiest people lived in the local authoprities of Swansea (65.8), County Durham (65.3) and Blackpool (63.5), which had the dubious honour of being named the unhappiest place in Britain.
The first national well-being survey showed that, nationally, those who are married, have jobs and own their own homes are the most likely to be satisfied with their lives.
As a general trend, people were the most satisfied with life in their teenage years and when they reached retirement age, with happiness levels dipping during middle age.
Those aged 16 to 19 and 65 to 79 reported satisfaction levels considerably higher than the UK average of 7.4 out of 10.
People living in built-up or former industrial areas, such as South Wales, the West Midlands or London, tended to be less happy, while rural areas, such as Orkney and Shetland, and Wiltshire were the happiest.
The results were obtained after researchers asked adults aged 16 and over to rank themselves between 0 and 10 to a number of questions, including:
- 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?
The scheme aims to provide a better understanding of how society is doing, and could help form future government policy. Prime Minister David Cameron described the survey as crucial to finding out what the government can do to “really improve lives”, but Labour ridiculed the survey as a “statement of the bleeding obvious”.
Welcoming the findings of the survey, Wiltshire Council leader, Jane Scott, said: “This doesn’t surprise me as the enthusiasm and the happiness I saw from our communities celebrating the Jubilee and the Torch relay was fantastic.
“More than 50 percent of people in the county came out and I think it shows what a strong community spirit we have in Wiltshire.
“We live in a beautiful county which is one of the safest and healthiest places to live, with low unemployment.
“However we must not rest on our laurels and, although the survey suggests older people and teenagers are the happiest groups, we must continue to work hard with our partners to support them.”