Anxiety in Slough but 'happiness' in the Royal Borough

Anxiety in Slough but 'happiness' in the Royal Borough

James Preston

Anxiety in Slough but 'happiness' in the Royal Borough

Anxiety in Slough is among the highest in the country but Royal Borough residents generally feel worthwhile and satisfied with their lives, according to new figures.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed the latest figures from the David Cameron-backed 'happiness index', which surveyed 165,000 people across the country on their personal wellbeing.

When people from the Slough Borough Council area were asked how anxious they felt the previous day, a quarter ranked their anxiety levels in the highest bracket.

Overall, respondants from the area have the second highest average anxiety level among unitary authorities and county councils in England, with Reading coming out on top.

The survey asked respondants to give a ranking between 0-10 when asked four key questions about their wellbeing, 0 being 'not at all' and 10 being 'completely'.

The anxiety score of 3.42 was significantly higher than for the Royal Borough, which scored an average of 3.06.

Slough also performed below the national average for happiness and life satisfaction, but the area performed better when residents were asked how worthwhile they thought their lives were.

The average rating was 7.72, compared to an average for England of 7.68.

A Slough Borough Council spokesperson said: "A study that polls 165,000 people when there are 63 million people living in the UK is not enough to make us feel anxious."

The Royal Borough had above average scores for happiness, worthwhile and life satisfaction, comparing favourably with other unitary authorities and county councils in the South East.

It was second to Hampshire County Council in the region for the worthwhile category, with an average rating of 7.86.

Cllr David Coppinger, borough cabinet member for adult services and health, said: "I would expect our happiness index to be pretty good. It's a nice place to live and we have got good services."

Plans to introduce a wellbeing index were announced by David Cameron in 2010, but the practicality and usefulness of the initiative has been criticised by detractors.

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