Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Happiness and Our Very Own North-South Divide ; Survey Reveals Happiness gapStockport and Trafford Top League

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Happiness and Our Very Own North-South Divide ; Survey Reveals Happiness gapStockport and Trafford Top League

Article excerpt

HAPPINESS levels across Greater Manchester are dramatically split between the north and south of the region, according to new government figures.

The Office for National Statistics has released its second annual well-being survey which measures the emotional health of residents in each council area. The data shows Greater Manchester is one of the most widely divided areas in Britain in terms of personal well- being in its various cities, towns and boroughs.

People in northern areas such as Rochdale and Salford are among the most dissatisfied in the country, while their southern counterparts in Stockport and Trafford are near the top of national league tables.

The survey, which polled more than 8,500 people in Greater Manchester between April 2012 and March 2013, asked residents to rate their life satisfaction, happiness, anxiety and feeling that life was worthwhile between 0 and 10.

This year's results represented good news for the region overall - with improvements in all four categories.

Across the whole of Greater Manchester, life satisfaction saw the biggest growth from 7.26 (out of 10) to 7.32 from 2011/12 to 2012/ 13.

Feelings of life being worthwhile increased from 7.54 to 7.60 and happiness grew from 7.13 to 7.18. Anxiety levels fell from 3.30 to 3.09.

But the figures also reveal growing disparity between the most and least happy areas of Greater Manchester.

Rochdale residents were the second least satisfied with life in England with nearly one in 10 residents (9.5 per cent) rating their satisfaction as four out of 10 below - only Knowsley, Merseyside (10.1 per cent) fared worse.

Meanwhile, just 15 miles away, Stockport had the fewest people in England rating themselves as very dissatisfied, with less than one in 25 (3.9 per cent) selecting the lowest category.

At the other end of the scale, 80 per cent of Stockport residents measured their satisfaction as 7 or above compared to 68 per cent in Rochdale.

In terms of overall happiness, Salford was one of just 11 boroughs outside London to record an average score of less than seven out of 10.

More than a third (34. …

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