You’re happy and you know it …

Date: Monday 2nd October 2017

EDEN has been named in the top 10 of Britain’s happiest places to live.

People in the district rated their level of happiness as eight out of 10, well above the national average of 7.5 in an Office for National Statistics (ONS) survey published this week.

Top of the list, scoring 8.3 out of 10, was Craven, the district centred on Skipton, which is a town linked to Eden via the Settle-Carlisle rail line.

People in Eden also rated their life satisfaction as 7.9 out of 10, while the level of anxiety of respondents was 2.7.

Eden District Council leader Kevin Beaty said: “The figures revealed by the Office for National Statistics are very pleasing to note and reflect the fact that Eden district has always been a highly sought after location.

“This is due in part to the quality of life it can afford with low levels of crime, a low unemployment rate and the fantastic backdrop of the Eden Valley and two national parks to enjoy at your leisure. There is plenty in Eden district to be happy about.”

Residents in the area covered by Hertsmere Borough Council, a suburb of London, were said by the ONS to be the unhappiest in Britain, with a score of 6.9, for the 12 months to the end of March.

Since 2011, the ONS has asked personal well-being questions to adults aged 16 and over in the UK in order to get a better understanding of how people feel about their lives in general. The large-scale poll consults 320,000 people.

An ONS spokesman said that four personal well-being questions were asked: Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays; to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile; how happy did you feel yesterday; and how anxious did you feel yesterday?

“People are asked to respond on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is ‘not at all’ and 10 is ‘completely’. We produce estimates of the mean ratings for all four personal well-being questions, as well as their distributions, using thresholds,” the spokesman said.

Nationally, the figures represented a small increase in both reported happiness and life satisfaction despite a background of political change and uncertainty over Brexit.

“It’s worth noting that employment rates rose during the period covered by this report, and other ONS analysis showed people perceiving an improvement in their own financial situations and in the overall economy.

“These are factors we believe may account for some people’s increased sense of personal well-being,” the spokesman added.

Adrian Lochhead, director of Eden Arts, said: “It’s great to see that people feel generally happy here in Eden. With good employment rates, great scenery and a reasonable standard of living it should come as no surprise that people feel this way.

“I don’t think that we shout about this enough. Eden is a great place to live and work, and with a positive attitude it only gets better.”