The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has come out with findings that people in Corby, Northamptonshire are living in the unhappiest place in England. This list was compiled by using the answers to survey questions that asked people to rate where they live based on 10 being completely happy, and zero being not happy at all. The rating received by Corby, which came in first place on the listing of the unhappiest places in England, was 6.86 out of 10.
Statisticians have tried to figure out the reasons for this generally unsettled and unhappy feeling and have found that circumstances like people’s personal lives, their relationships with people at work, their health, and poverty ratings can all have an impact. It is estimated that one out of every five children are living in poverty in Corby, and that Corby also has one of the highest rates of teen pregnancy. Another troubling statistic is that nearly 40 percent of Corby’s residents don’t have a GCSE equivalent, a General Certificate of Secondary Education.
Other Areas that Were Listed in the 10 Unhappiest places in Britain
While there are no areas of Britain that hope to be listed on the tally of the unhappiest places, there are ten places that do appear on this list. The five places towards the top of the list include:
The bottom five, which are considered the unhappiest places in England include:
2) West Lancashire
1) Corby – With a rating of 6.86 out of 10
What Makes a Community a Better Place to Live?
People who were interviewed after the ONS survey was completed pointed out some things that would make an area a better place to live. Their answers included places with a lot of sunshine, places that have things to do, friendly local people and having family and friends living nearby to rely on. Other factors that make a place a better place to live include nearby sites with a lot of natural beauty and a good, stable, and even growing economy.
Others cited happiness being tied to local communities that are cohesive and supportive. Another interesting factor to consider is how well your personality blends in with the personalities of people in the community you choose to call home. Staying active is another factor that is reported to contribute to people’s happiness, which makes having designated areas where people can pursue and active lifestyle an attractive feature of a community.
Where Are the Happiest Places in England?
The happiest places in England were also listed in the ONS data, with Mid Sussex ranking the highest. West Lindsey came in second place, with New Forest in third place. Rounding out the top five were Hambleton in fourth place and Great Yarmouth in fifth place. The ONS ratings also revealed that people in the Scottish Highlands appeared to have higher levels of happiness. The statistics showed that about 43 percent of these people gave their happiness levels scores of 9 or higher.
In another interesting finding, people in Cornwall were also reported to have the highest level of people who are satisfied with their lives, with over 30 percent saying that they were satisfied. Cornwall residents also scored highly when they were asked how worthwhile they considered their lives to be. In these two areas, many people rated their lives 9 out of 10, or at 10.
Elements that help Create Happiness
Happiness appears to be an elusive thing and can be hard to quantify. However, many people seem to be happiest in places where the majority of people have similar personality traits to their own. This can include things like having a good sense of humour, having an admirable work ethic, sharing similar values, and elusive traits that simply make you feel comfortable in the place you’re living. A factor that is sometimes forgotten is the time it takes people to commute to work. Those with shorter and easier commuter experiences tend to be happier overall.
People’s happiness has also been tied to being able to set goals for themselves and striving to achieve them. If they feel that the community they live in is a supportive place for achieving goals, it’s natural that their happiness level will be higher. Another important factor is when communities provide opportunities for residents to be involved in community activities. Being involved tends to make people happier.
A Correlation between Lowered Happiness and Lower Anxiety Levels
In another fascinating finding, people who reported lower levels of happiness also reported lowered levels of anxiety. This seems to be a contradictory finding, and when these results were reported, it was also reported that the test sample included a relatively small number of people. There were about 1,700 people included in this survey, and the data was collected over three years. One statistician suggested obtaining and publishing data on a quarterly basis instead of yearly as one way to be able to keep track of trends like this more closely.
Life Events Affect Happiness
Happiness can be a very difficult thing to measure since people’s happiness levels tend to change with the different stages of life. People in their 20s who are climbing a career ladder can answer a happiness survey very differently than someone in their 30s who is married with children. Happiness and stress levels tend to be intertwined depending on what is going on in a person’s life at the moment. It was also found in the same ONS survey that people in the age range of 45 to 59 were the least happy.
People who are living in an area where hard work is valued seem to be happier, as well as those who are able to laugh at certain life situations and not take things too seriously. Sometimes humour turns out to be a common thing that binds people together, since nearly everyone enjoys being able to laugh. Those who can find humour in even the most absurd situations tend to fare better as far as happiness goes.