There really is ‘no place like home’, especially if you happen to live in Winchester, which has topped the 2019 Royal Mail UK Happiness Index.
The study, which has identified the happiest places to live across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, has found that the most content residents in England hail from the historic Hampshire city.
Happiest place to live in the UK – Winchester
According to Royal Mail, Winchester residents prevailed on the happiness scale thanks to ‘the local authority’s high earnings’, ‘a high reported sense of well-being from residents’, and ‘low levels of deprivation.’
The findings are based on an index composed of eight measures relevant to people’s happiness, including personal well-being, life expectancy, earnings, inequality, carbon emissions, crime, deprivation and access to health services.
A spokesperson for Royal Mail said, ‘This new study takes a look at the areas across the UK sparking the most joy. For people across the UK looking to live in or visit the happiest places, there are plenty to choose from.’
The South East of England dominated the list, with five other local authorities from the region ranked in the top ten. Babergh, a rural area in Suffolk, placed second thanks to its low carbon emissions and good access to health services.
Happiest place to live in Scotland – East Renfrewshire
In Scotland, East Renfrewshire topped the list, scoring in the 90th percentile across all local authorities in the UK for earnings.
Taking second place is East Dunbartonshire, which scores in the 60th percentile by comparison. East Dunbartonshire boasts low levels of crime and also scores highly on the access to health services measure, a feat that is repeated across all of the local authorities in Scotland’s top ten.
Happiest place to live in Wales – Monmouthshire
Monmouthshire took first place in Wales, with the highest life expectancy, earnings and low levels of crime and deprivation earning it the top spot.
Vale of Glamorgan followed closely behind thanks to its access to health services in the country.
Happiest place to live in Northern Ireland
In Northern Ireland, all top five local authorities were found to have a ‘very similar overall index’. The outer suburbs of Belfast, Lisburn and Castlereagh were named the most cheerful, thanks to low level of carbon emissions and good access to health services.
Last year, the happiest area to live in England was actually the Essex seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea, which didn’t even feature in this year’s top 10.
According to Rightmove’s Happy Home survey 2018, Leigh-on-Sea scored highly in areas including sense of community spirit and the wealth of local restaurants and shops on offer.
It was the second time in three years that the seaside town topped Rightmove’s survey.
Where would you be happy to live?