Fareham is the happiest place to live and Portsmouth is the most anxious, poll reveals

FIGURES from a nationwide survey have revealed the happiest place in The News area to call home.

Tuesday, 16th January 2018, 6:00 am
Fareham residents are the happiest in our region, according to the survey

Fareham beat Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant in three out of four categories of the Office for National Statistics’ (ONS) report into well-being in the UK.

The borough’s residents topped the polls for life satisfaction (7.9 out of 10) and overall happiness (7.8), while also indicating the belief that what they do in their lives is the most worthwhile (8.1).

The figures were collected as part of the Office of National Statistics (ONS) 2016/17 Annual Population Survey.

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Leader of Fareham Borough Council, councillor Sean Woodward, said there were many contributing factors that pitched his borough to the top of the charts.

He said: ‘Fareham is a really happy place to live because our residents in the main enjoy better health than neighbouring areas and are likely to live significantly longer.

‘There is very low unemployment and beautiful countryside and the sea are both within easy reach.

‘More people own their own homes and pay the lowest district council tax compared with the rest of the country.

‘Our youngsters are well-educated and have good job prospects.

‘All of these things make Fareham a wonderful place to live and bring up a family.’

The outcome of each category was calculated on using residents’ responses to four questions, answering on a scale of zero to 10 – with zero meaning ‘not at all’ and 10 meaning ‘completely’.

Residents were asked:

n Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?

n Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?

n Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?

n Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?

In calculating residents’ average response to these, ONS statisticians found Fareham proudly topped three out of the of four of its categories used to indicate overall well-being.

But, there was one more aspect the survey honed in on – residents’ anxiety – which saw Portsmouth named the most anxious place to live in The News area (2.7).

Meanwhile, Havant was named the least (2.3).

Reflecting on the outcome of the poll, deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council, Cllr Luke Stubbs – who recently kick-started a campaign to support good mental health – said: ‘I think it’s a city thing. Urban areas tend to have more people with more problems to deal with, and this survey is a game of city versus suburb.

‘We are now in the middle of January – people are coming off the Christmas bounce, are back to work and the summer holidays feel a long way away.

‘But before we know it, spring will be here once again.’ While Portsmouth topped the anxiety chart, comparative figures showed city residents were 0.3 survey points more satisfied with life than they were five years ago (7.4 in 2013).

This, said ONS spokesman Matthew Steel , is a trend recognised across the UK – even with residents responding in a so-called period of ‘political change and uncertainty.’