Renfrewshire is one of the happiest places to live in Scotland, new UK Government data suggests.
Research from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows people in the region gave a score of 7.5 out of 10 for the period 2019/20 when asked to rate how happy they were the previous day – up from 7.3 in 2018/19.
The survey results – which were analysed by the Reach Data Unit – would indicate the region is one of the top places to live in the country in terms of how content residents feel.
Only eight local authority areas produced a higher average rating, with Renfrewshire coming out on par with several other regions including East Renfrewshire, Stirling, South Ayrshire and North Lanarkshire.
The Government’s well-being measures are based on a survey of 139,690 participants across the UK and this year covered the build-up to the national lockdown in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Gavin Newlands, MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said: “It’s obviously a great compliment to our communities to be regarded so highly and it shows what a great place to live and work Renfrewshire is.
“Like anywhere, we have our problems and our challenges, especially during this pandemic, but overall the figures are a tribute to the nearly 180,000 people who choose to make Renfrewshire their home.
“The potential for Renfrewshire to expand our horizons and build an economy and community for the 21st century is clear from the survey and collectively we should work together so we aim to be even higher up the league table in future years.”
Councillor Andy Doig, who represents Johnstone North and surrounding villages on Renfrewshire Council, added: “What we have in Renfrewshire is a unique area and a historic county which has urban parts like Paisley and Renfrew and Johnstone, as well as lots of rural land and villages.
“There is so much variety. It’s really close to Glasgow, but you’ve also got places like Clyde Muirshiel Country Park.
“There’s also so much history and character within the towns and villages.
“It’s a really great place to live and has a lot going for it, so I’m not surprised to see a happiness rating like this.”
While the data suggested happiness levels are increasing in Renfrewshire, the study did also show anxiety had risen in the region over the past year, with the ranking going from 2.8 in 2018/19, to 3.2 in 2019/20.
Meanwhile, the statistics would suggest people’s life satisfaction is gradually declining, going from 7.7 back in 2016/17, to 7.5 in 2019/20.
In the UK as a whole, average ratings of life satisfaction, happiness and anxiety all significantly worsened for the first time since the data began being collated in 2011.