By Shelley Marsden
ACCORDING to new government research on life satisfaction, Britain’s rural market towns are the places that hold the key to happiness – and two Northern Irish towns are the happiest of all.
As revealed in the data released by the Office for National Statistics two towns in the North of Ireland, Moyle in County Antrim and Enniskillen in County Fermanagh are the happiest in the UK.
The research draws the conclusion that cities and smaller towns should try and reproduce their community spirit, bustling high streets and social networks. Their size is also deemed to be perfect; market towns are small enough for people to feel included but large enough to remain private.
Predictably, the government analysis reveals the happiest places the places that tend to have less ill-health, crime and unemployment. But more surprisingly, they also seem to be the places with more retired people and young couples without children.
Other factors said to make an impact on happiness levels are “working from home”, a rural community and volunteering.
Among the negative factors are “women working full time”, lone parent households and higher numbers of recently settled migrants. The least happy areas in the UK are both in Essex – Harlow and Brentwood.