On a recent poll looking at national well-being York came out in the top 5 for “overall life satisfaction” alongside Bath, Eilean Star, Rutland and Aberdeenshire.
The information was gathered by the office for National Statistics (here) as part of a study into trusted measures of the well-being of the nation and how the UK is doing as a whole. By looking at a person’s environment, dwelling and life quality the statistics aim to highlight how these factors can contribute to a person’s well-being as a whole.
Among the four questions asked as part of the survey is “Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?” Respondents must pick a score between 0 and 10 with any score below three being regarded as indicative of a pretty chilled-out individual.
Four of the least anxious areas (it must be noted) are also the most northerly – Eilean Siar, Orkney & Shetland. With only Bath being south of Watford Gap.
So, what is it that leaves people feeling so satisfied here? It would appear that it is not pots of money or a fancy car. It is clearly not the weather. Yet there is something about a simple rural lifestyle that is associated with high levels of well-being. The “smaller city factor” can contribute to this, alongside, life style, time spent commuting and surplus cash. What do we think it is?