Nailsworth and UK happiness March 2018

Average happiness in Nailsworth = 83.98 %
Average happiness in UK = 83.62 %

Clearly, on average, the people in my hometown of Nailsworth are slightly happier than the rest of the UK, but is this across all “wellbeing” measures? Why isn’t it 100%? What are the gaps? How do you as an individual compare against the average? And how is “happiness” measured anyway?

First off, for this blog “happiness” is measured using a science based methodology. You can read more about the science of measuring happiness in my previous blog (1).

There are many ideas behind this particular measure. Here are a few:

  • Encourage everyone to maximise their own wellbeing
  • Give simple advice for making improvements where needed
  • Educate people in connection between environmental protection and wellbeing
  • Highlight barriers to maximising wellbeing
  • Publish regularly to keep wellbeing and happiness in forefront of peoples’ minds

The measure is made up of a combination of survey data on how people feel about themselves and hard data about crime, food security, air pollution and other environmental data. The aim is to use data that is updated on a regular basis and is as local as possible.

A comparison of UK versus Nailsworth is in the table below. Many readers will recognise the issues listed as those proposed by Maslow (1) in his hierarchy of human needs. A couple of surprising snippets come out of looking at things through this framework:

Leisure time – Office of National Statistics data for SW, nearest available for Nailsworth, only 46% of people were “completely or mostly” satisfied with the amount of time they have for leisure pursuits. This means most of us crave more leisure time.

Food security – UK-wide food security scores 77 out of 100 according to the Economist’s Global Food Security Index. A big chunk of why we and our kids do not have 100% food security is down to climate change and other environmental impacts on global food production.

I shall be releasing more information and methodologies in subsequent blogs as part of a “HappyNow” initiative. Please “follow” to read more. Amongst other topics there’ll be information on air quality, financial security, local business and social life. In any case I’ll update figures in June 2018 to see if any improvements have come about.

In the meantime, please feel free to answer 3 simple questions and get your own “gap” analysis on wellbeing and see suggestions on what to do about any large gaps. This will hopefully go some way to making the world a better place for us and our kids.

table

(1)  Maslow was a psychologist who theorised what humans need in order to achieve a state of having “peak experiences”. Read more here: Maslow

Image courtesy of Cecily Church

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