Mid and East Antrim is ‘happiest place in NI’

Carrick Castle was a popular draw during the annual Heritage Open Days event.

Carrick Castle was a popular draw during the annual Heritage Open Days event.

Mid and East Antrim is the happiest borough in Northern Ireland and the second happiest in the UK, according to newly-released figures.

The annual survey by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which is used to compile a national wellbeing index, shows that personal well-being has improved on a UK-wide basis over the past five years.

It includes estimates of life satisfaction, worthwhile, happiness and anxiety for adults over 16 years old.

According to the survey, when asked to rate their happiness between 0 and 10 in response to the question: “How happy were you yesterday?”, people living in the Mid and East Antrim Borough scored 8.21, substantially higher than the mean Northern Ireland happiness score of 7.7.

This represents an increase in the happiness rating for Mid and East Antrim, which scored 8.05 in 2014/15.

In contrast, the Belfast City Council area had the lowest happinest score in Northern Ireland this year at 7.23.

The title of happiest place in the UK goes to Na h-Eileanan Siar in Scotland, where residents rated their happiness at 8.24.

Mid and East Antrim also polled top for life satisfaction in the UK, with a score of 8.39 compared with the Northern Ireland average of 7.85 and UK average of 7.65.

Respondents were then asked to rate to what extent they felt the things they do in their lives are worthwhile, a category in which Mid and East Antrim again topped the UK-wide poll with 8.62.

Significantly, Mid and East Antrim borough also tied with Mid Ulster to clinch Ulster’s second lowest anxiety rating with a score of 2.17.

East Antrim DUP MP Sammy Wilson said he was “not surprised” that Mid and East Antrim had achieved such positive ratings.

“When you think of what we have got here and the quality of life regarding the environment and the location with some of the most beautiful places along the coast,” he said.

“There’s also the fact that you are close to work in Belfast withoout the hassle of the big city, relatively low unemployment, good schools and roads so you can see why people would be contented.

“These are some of the assets which make the quality of life better in Mid and East Antrim.”