The Office for National Statistics (ONS) biannual survey of well-being has discovered indicators of happiness and life satisfaction in the UK are up on last year’s figures.
Most significantly, the survey of 165,000 people showed anxiety levels have dropped and people are at their happiest since 2011.
There has even been a slight increase in trust in the Government.
In the published report – entitled Measuring National Wellbeing – authors stated:
“The year-on-year differences are small but statistically significant in each case. These latest estimates suggest improvements in the past year in the average ratings of personal well-being in the UK across all of the measures.”
Positive economic changes including a decreased rate of unemployment and higher levels of income are thought to have contributed to this rise in happiness levels.
Report co-author, Dawn Snape said: “The unemployment rate has a profound impact on happiness. Not only does it affect the people who are unemployed but also those people around them.”
Overall, the survey found that people in Northern Ireland have the highest rating for well-being, while Londoners appear to have the lowest levels – reporting lower than average.
The five happiest places in the UK were identified as Antrim, Fermanagh, Omagh and Dungannon in Northern Ireland, and Babergh in Suffolk.
Married couples and those in long-term relationships also showed high levels of well-being, yet most people – single or in a relationship – experience a dip as they reach middle age. These levels tend to rise again as retirement nears.