People moving to the UK to work and live might want to consider Scotland after the government new happiness index found that Scots enjoy a higher level of well being than the English.
The data gathered by the Office for National Statistics also found that Edinburgh is the happiest capital in the UK. Overall Aberdeen was rated the highest ranking city for life satisfaction, while London and Birmingham were ranked at the bottom for wellbeing.
According to figures released by the ONS, Scotland has a slightly higher level of wellbeing, with 77.4% those interviewed reporting a medium to high life satisfaction compared to 75.7% in England.
Meanwhile, four out of the top ten local authorities in Britain were in Scotland, with the Outer Hebrides, Orkney, Shetland and Aberdeenshire rated highly for life satisfaction, the number of residents who felt happy and worthwhile.
London and the West Midlands had the highest proportion of people giving low or very low ratings for life satisfaction at 27.2% and 27.1% respectively and the areas with the lowest proportions of people giving low or very low ratings were the South East and the South West at 21.5% and 21.8% respectively.
The government’s statisticians discovered that the average Briton rates their life satisfaction as 7.4 out of 10. Asked how worthwhile they found their activities, the average response was higher, 7.7 out of 10. However, one in five rated their anxiety levels at more than five out of 10.
Women tended to have a greater sense than men of life satisfaction and believe what they do is worthwhile, but they reported higher levels of anxiety.
Teenagers and pensioners are the happiest. Those aged 16 to 19 and 65 to 79 had the highest levels of satisfaction.
The data is from the UK’s first integrated household survey of 200,000 people aged 16 and over between April 2011 and March 2012 conducted as part of the Prime Minister’s initiative launched in 2010, to assess the wellbeing of the nation.
‘By examining and analysing both objective statistics as well as subjective information, a more complete picture of national wellbeing can be formed. Understanding people’s views of wellbeing is an important addition to official statistics and has potential uses in the policy making process and to aid other decision making,’ said Glenn Everett, ONS programme director for the Measuring National Wellbeing Programme.
Overall asked how satisfied they were with their lives, 75.9% of people gave a response of seven or more out of 10, while 6.6% answered less than five out of 10. On how happy they felt, 10.9% said less than five out of 10. Asked how anxious they felt, 21.8% said more than five out of 10, with the mean average being 3.1.
The ethnic group with the highest average anxiety rating was Arab, on 3.7 out of 10. Black people had the lowest average life satisfaction, on 6.7. Some 45% of unemployed people gave a life satisfaction rating of less than seven, compared with just 20% among those with a job.