Mid and East Antrim people have the highest ‘life satisfaction’ rate in the UK

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Adults in Mid and East Antrim Borough have the highest average rating for overall “life satisfaction” in the United Kingdom.

According to the survey from the Halifax bank, adults (16 years and over) in the Borough - an area covering Carrickfergus, Ballymena and Larne - have an average rating of 8.4, based on a score out of 10.

The survey says that the UK average is 7.7 and reveals that adults in Mid and East Antrim Borough also believe that what they do in life is “worthwhile”, the highest average rating in the UK officially making them the happiest adults.

Halifax takes into account indicators covering the labour market, the housing market, the environment, education, health, personal well-being and leisure

The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Councillor Audrey Wales MBE said: “Halifax’s ‘Quality of Life’ index quantifies where living standards are highest.

“I am pleased but not surprised by the findings,” she said, adding that the latest news is the second such official recognition of overall ‘happiness ratings’ for local people.

“Back in September, a survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) also revealed the happiest place in Northern Ireland was Mid and East Antrim Borough.

“It was also shown to be the second happiest in the UK,” Councillor Wales added.

The ONS survey asked respondents to rate their happiness between 0 and 10 with the question: “How happy were you yesterday?” and people living in the Mid and East Antrim Borough scored 8.21, substantially higher than the mean Northern Ireland happiness score of 7.7.

This represents an increase in the happiness rating for Mid and East Antrim, which scored 8.05 in 2014/15.

Mid and East Antrim also polled top for life satisfaction in the UK, with a score of 8.39 compared with the Northern Ireland average of 7.85 and UK average of 7.65.

The research, which is part of the ONS larger labour force survey that questioned 158,000 people, asked respondents how satisfied they were with life, to what extent did they felt the things they do in life were worthwhile and how happy and how anxious they felt.

The survey identified 10 aspects (or domains) of life that people said mattered to their psychological health, including personal well-being, relationships, health, the economy and the environment.

September’s wellbeing survey has been carried out by the ONS annually for the past five years after former Prime Minister David Cameron made monitoring well-being one of his flagship policies.