Which places in the UK were the happiest, just before the pandemic, and why? | United Kingdom
There is little correlation between which local areas in the UK saw the fastest economic growth in recent years, and which, just before the current pandemic, appeared to be the happiest.
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The government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation is a slightly better predictor of happiness than economic growth, but the relationship is still weak. Some places with high unemployment or poor health score relatively well for happiness, and vice versa.
Richmondshire, a district in the Yorkshire Dales, had the highest reported level of happiness in the UK in 2019/20, while Kensington and Chelsea had the lowest. Other standout places included Fylde in Lancashire among the most cheerful, and Winchester in Hampshire among the least.
It seems that different factors matter in different places, and it is possible that some communities are able to respond to challenges, such as high rates of long-term unemployment, with for example strong social and family networks. And some places with rapid GDP growth also have high rates of social deprivation.