The West Midlands is a glorious area with plenty to offer, but have you ever wondered where exactly in the region is the happiest place to live?
A large survey of more than 21,000 people from the Rightmove real estate website asked participants across the country to rank their area on a number of factors, including friendliness, green spaces, community spirit, activities and local amenities.
As the Covid pandemic causes more and more people to leave urban life in the countryside, many rural and coastal areas ended up being voted the best places in the UK for happiness.
READ MORE: The most scenic beauty spots in the West Midlands ranked
Hexham, in the North East of England, topped the list and was named the happiest place to live in the UK by Rightmove, regaining the first place it last had in 2019.
Residents of historic Hexham were found to be the happiest, based on factors including the friendliness of their neighbors, its sense of belonging, the quality of the city’s local amenities and its access to open spaces.
In the West Midlands, the Leamington Spa just beat the top ten nationally and was voted the happiest place to live in the region.
Regionally, the spa town was followed by picturesque, rural areas such as Stratford-upon-Avon, Hereford and Worcester. The cathedral city of Lichfield came in at a sixth place regionally and 65th at the national level, while Solihull also came in at the top half of both lists.
Perhaps surprisingly, Sutton Coldfield was named just the 11th happiest place in the region and 167th overall. Birmingham fared even worse and came in 14th place regionally – doing only better than Coventry and the Black Country areas of Wolverhampton and Dudley.
Rightmove said they found the most important factors people were looking for in a neighborhood this year were a sense of belonging, friendly locals and ‘being able to be yourself’.
Looking at the overall results and rankings of the happiest areas across the UK, Rightmove’s real estate expert Tim Bannister said: “Last year’s lockdown periods continue to have an impact on our priorities and what makes us happy, which is one of The reasons why community and a sense of belonging remain so important to people this year.
“Last year, the meaning and role of our home and community in our lives redefined, and this has continued this year, though the wider community has begun to reopen.”
The West Midlands rankings, from most happy to least happy, are as follows:
- Leamington Spa (regional rank 1, national rank 10)
- Stratford-upon-Avon (2, 22)
- Hereford (3, 24)
- Stafford (4, 31)
- Worcester (5, 41)
- Lichfield (6, 65)
- Solihull (7, 79)
- Stourbridge (8, 83)
- Shrewsbury (9, 96)
- Stoke on Trent (10, 123)
- Sutton Coldfield (11, 167)
- Telford (12, 171)
- Walsall (13, 172)
- Birmingham (14, 179)
- Coventry (15, 187)
- Dudley (16,200)
- Wolverhampton (17, 202)
Top 10 nationally:
- Hexham, Northeast
- Richmond-upon-Thames, London
- Harrogate, Yorkshire and Humber
- Hove, Southeast
- Llandrindod Wells, Wales
- Stirling, Scotland
- Monmouth, Wales
- St Ives, southwest
- Anglesey, Wales
- Leamington Spa, West Midlands
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