Scots are mak­ing Bri­tain hap­pier says sur­vey

The Herald - - FRONT PAGE - MICHAEL SET­TLE

BRI­TAIN is get­ting hap­pier – thanks, it seems, to the Scots.

In its an­nual sur­vey of well­be­ing, the Of­fice for Na­tional Sta­tis­tics points out how, amid the con­tin­u­ing gloom of the Brexit process, peo­ple south and west of the Border in Eng­land, Wales and North­ern Ire­land are be­com­ing more un­happy.

Yet the UK’S over­all hap­pi­ness rat­ing has been pushed up thanks to the sun­nier dis­po­si­tion of those liv­ing in Scot­land.

The ONS says: “Scot­land has shown im­prove­ments in av­er­age rat­ings of life sat­is­fac­tion, worth­while and hap­pi­ness but there have been no over­all changes in Eng­land, Wales or North­ern Ire­land.”

It ex­plains: “Be­tween the years end­ing De­cem­ber 2016 and 2017, im­prove­ments in worth­while and

hap­pi­ness rat­ings in the UK were driven by Scot­land, where av­er­age rat­ings also im­proved.

“In­ter­est­ingly, av­er­age life sat­is­fac­tion rat­ings also im­proved for Scot­land.

“How­ever, there were no sig­nif­i­cant changes for rat­ings of anx­i­ety.

“No over­all changes were re­ported for any mea­sure of per­sonal well-be­ing in Eng­land, Wales or North­ern Ire­land.”

Frus­trat­ingly per­haps, the ONS does not ex­plain just what makes Scots hap­pier than those who live in other parts of the UK, but it does say that the three most in­flu­en­tial fac­tors on peo­ple’s well-be­ing are their em­ploy­ment sta­tus, self-re­ported health and re­la­tion­ship sta­tus.

The or­gan­i­sa­tion tracks well-be­ing by sur­vey­ing peo­ple and look­ing at four mea­sures: are you sat­is­fied with your life; are the things you do worth­while; how happy are you and how anx­ious are you?

The un­hap­pi­est Bri­tons appear to be the Welsh.

The re­search showed how over the years, from March 2012 to De­cem­ber 2017, Scots’ well-be­ing has in­creased on the four mea­sures used: life sat­is­fac­tion[7.51 to 7.72]; worth­while­ness [7.68 to 7.88]; hap­pi­ness[7.31 to 7.51]; and anx­i­ety[3.06 to 2.9].

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