All smiles in the Oakleaf county. Pic by Mary K Burke.
Two council areas in County Derry have been ranked highest in three of the UK government's four indicators of wellbeing, the most recent survey has shown.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) detail values given by 139,690 participants across the UK when asked to rate how happy they were the previous day.
Mid Ulster was revealed as the happiest place in Northern Ireland in 2019/20, with residents giving an average rating of 8.1 out of 10, up from 7.8 the previous year.
Causeway Coast and Glens, which also covers areas of north Derry, was rated the second happiest council area with a score of 8.0.
Derry's third council area, Derry City and Strabane District Council, lagged a little behind on 7.7, ranking 6th out of the eleven council areas. As well as being the happiest area, Mid Ulster is also the least anxious, with residents rating their anxiety levels at an average of 2.4 out of 10.
Neighbouring Causeway Coast and Glens ranked 4th with a score of 2.9, while Derry City and Strabane was Northern Ireland's most anxious council area at 3.4.
Causeway Coast and Glens and Mid Ulster also took the top two spots for life satisfaction and how worthwhile residents felt their lives were.
Chair of Mid Ulster District Council, Cathal Mallaghan, was delighted with the results.
“The finding is testament to the positive mind-set and outlook which local people have, and the fact that we are fortunate to live in such a beautiful and vibrant place,” he said.
Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Alderman Mark Fielding, also welcomed the results of the survey.
“We welcome the news that the council area has been rated in Northern Ireland's top two for life satisfaction and happiness” he said.
"Enhancing the health and well-being of our residents is a key priority for Council, and we are committed to improving the quality of life for everybody who lives here.
"We are immensely proud of the beautiful area we live and work in, and the incredible facilities we have on our doorstep.
“By placing local communities at the heart of decision making and by enhancing our unique natural environment we will continue our work to create healthy, happy and engaged communities."
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