Norwich officially a happier place to live – but residents among most anxious in UK

Autumn in the city, Norwich Castle Photo: Brittany Woodman

Autumn in the city, Norwich Castle Photo: Brittany Woodman - Credit: Archant

Norwich has rocketed up the list of the happiest places to live in the UK – but still compares poorly against other parts of Norfolk for residents’ wellbeing.

The Fine City was named among the bottom five places in the country for quality of life and happiness last year, but has scored much better in the latest set of annual figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Norwich shot up by 121 places, taking the city above Great Yarmouth and Broadland in the Norfolk list.

The city’s score rose to 7.4/10, regarded as a “high” score by the ONS’ grouping system.

South Norfolk was the only other area of the county which saw happiness scores increase slightly, while residents of every other area reported lower happiness between April 2019 and March 2020 than they did in the previous 12-month period.

According to the figures the unhappiest places to live in Norfolk is Broadland – the area’s score fell to 7.27, placing it 362nd out of 415 in the UK.

But while Norwich fared better on the happiness scale, it is comfortably the worst area in the county for being a worthwhile place to live, for life satisfaction and for anxiety – for the latter, it was ranked the sixth worst places in the UK.

Four areas of Norfolk rank among the 100 worst for anxiety with Great Yarmouth hot on the heels of Norwich in 19th place, while Broadland and south Norfolk come in in 75th and 77th respectively.

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Along with King’s Lynn and west Norfolk, north Norfolk scored well in all four categories and has been named among the most worthwhile places to live, as well as one of the best areas for life satisfaction.

North Norfolk also ranked highest in the county for happiness though it tumbled in the UK-wide rankings from 88th to 145th – a loss of 57 places.

When gathering the data, ONS researchers “asked people to evaluate, on a scale of 0 to 10, how satisfied they are with their life overall, whether they feel they have meaning and purpose in their life, and about their emotions (happiness and anxiety) during a particular period”.

The data is collected from a sample size of around 320,000 respondents across the UK.

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