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Kensington and Chelsea is Britain’s most miserable borough

Kensington and Chelsea is Britain’s most miserable borough, according to official data. 

Government researchers quizzed almost 140,000 people from all corners of the UK on their well-being.

Kensington and Chelsea — where the average home costs around £2.2million — had the lowest happiness score at 6.85 out of ten. 

At the other end of the scale was Richmondshire in North Yorkshire, where a home costs a more modest £221,000.

It scored 8.35 on the happiness scale, followed closely by Fylde, near Blackpool, and Mid Ulster in Northern Ireland — both at 8.12.  

The research was conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in an annual survey named ‘National Well-being Measures’.

It only relates to between last April and March 2020, meaning the detrimental effects of Covid-19 and the blanket lockdown were not completely reflected.

Since 2011, ONS have asked thousands of adults four personal well-being questions, including ‘how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?’.

Volunteers are also asked: ‘To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?’

The final two questions are ‘how happy did you feel yesterday?’ and ‘how anxious did you feel yesterday?’.

Participants are asked to respond on a scale of zero to 10, where zero means ‘not at all’ and 10 is ‘completely’.  

Scoring above eight in this year’s data were Christchurch, Weymouth and Portland, Melton, Daventry, Craven, South Hams and West Devon.

At the other end of the happiness scale came Kensington and Chelsea, Winchester, Eastleigh and Dudley — all of which scored less than seven.

The least anxious live in Burnley, Lancashire, where respondents said they rated their anxiety levels at 1.99 out of ten.

This was half the total scores for Castle Point in Essex, Lincoln and Tamworth, all of which had an average of at least four out of ten. 

Those with the most positive outlook live in Daventry, Fylde and West Devon, where they scored more than 8.5 out of ten on how worthwhile their life is. 

Forest Heath in Suffolk, Barrow-in-Furness and Lincoln were the most gloomy when expressing how worthwhile life was, scoring no higher than 7.4.

England was the only country in the UK which had significant reductions (0.6 per cent) in life satisfaction ratings over the year. 

Data from the ONS showed the most significant deterioration was in the North East (1.6 per cent). 

But people in Thanet, Kent, were the least satisfied with life (7.03). It was followed by the London boroughs of Enfield, Camden, Waltham Forest and Harlow. 

The Orkney Islands in Scotland had the highest life satisfaction, scoring 8.39 out of ten on average. It was followed by South Hams (8.31). 

Some locations scored highly in all areas, including the Orkney Islands, West Devon, Fylde, Richmondshire, Daventry, and Na h-Eileanan Siar — part of the Outer Hebrides in Scotland.   

Thanet, Camden, Rossendale and Kensington and Chelsea scored low for each well-being measurement.

The data shows that average ratings of life satisfaction and happiness deteriorated for the first time since records began in 2011. 

Average ratings of happiness fell from 7.56 in 2018/19 to 7.48. While life satisfaction dropped from 7.71 to 7.66 across the UK.

At the same time, average ratings of anxiety increased by 6.3 per cent in the year ending March 2020 when compared with the year before, from 2.87 to 3.05.

‘This was the largest annual increase in anxiety since we began measuring personal well-being,’ ONS said.

There were signs of decline in happiness in 2019. But it was significant and sudden in the first quarter of 2020. 

The ONS said: ‘During the first quarter of 2020, the UK left the EU and there were concerns about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and lockdown in the UK.

‘These issues may have contributed to the steep increase in anxiety and reduction in happiness during the first quarter of 2020.’  

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