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Happiest and Unhappiest Regions in Britain Identified

by Rajashri on August 30, 2008 at 3:28 PM
 Happiest and Unhappiest Regions in Britain Identified

The remote region of Brecknock, Montgomery and Radnor, in Powys, Wales, came out tops in a study designed to find the happiest and the unhappiest regions in Britain.

Surprisingly, Manchester came out second in the research of the happiest region in Britain.


Researchers from the universities of Sheffield and Manchester created the happiness league and the research was done after assessing data from the British Household Panel Survey and the census.

The researchers took into account factors like excessively high income or employment levels, and weighted the findings to identify an area's underlying happiness.

Edinburgh, whose festival and wealth of history and architecture have done nothing to alleviate the misery of its residents, was at the bottom of the league.

John Evans of Powys County Council expressed his happiness over the results, saying that the landscape was one of the best reasons for living in Brecknock, Montgomery and Radnor.

"We have dramatic landscapes. We have the sort of hills that you can walk up, not just look at. We have wide river valleys, rolling hills and the Brecon Beacons. We don't have the noise and the mess of a city . . . The pace of life is something that's very relaxing. Within the county we don't have a single Tesco - though we have planning permission for one - and we don't have M andS. Perhaps that helps," he said.

"It's one of the lowest-earning areas in Wales. We may not earn much but we are obviously happy," he stated.

One of the league's compilers, Dimitris Ballas, of the University of Sheffield, said that happiness was particularly difficult for a scientist to measure.

"There's a lot of lively debate on what is the most appropriate measure. This is the first time, in Britain at least, that there's an attempt to take geography into account," Ballas told the Royal Geographical Society's conference in London on August 27.

"We found well-being is closely linked to staying at your current address. Living in your home for five years boosts happiness," he said.

Of Edinburgh landing surprisingly at the bottom of the list, Ballas called it as an unexpected thing.

"It means people are less happy than we would expect them to be. Maybe miserable is the right word," he added.

Glad to be living here

Top five

1 Brecknock, Montgomery and Radnor

2 Manchester

3 West Lothian

4 Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and Monklands

5 Macclesfield

ottom five

1 Edinburgh

2 Cynon Valley and Rhondda

3 Amber Valley

4 Clydesdale, Cumnock and Doon Valley and Kyle and Carrick

5 Swansea

Source: ANI
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