Do you know that a survey last year ranked Newcastle as the happiest city in the UK? And not only that, the Toon also came in as the tenth happiest city in the whole of Europe.
A European Commission survey, whose results were published in 2016, drew these conclusions after studying 79 metropolises across the continent, six of which were in the UK.
Residents of the cities surveyed were asked a number of questions to measure their quality of life. Newcastle drew especially positive answers to a question asking if people were “very satisfied with the life they led”.
56% of Newcastle’s residents said they were “very satisfied” with life and 37% said they were “satisfied”. This meant Newcastle emerged from the survey as a happier city than Belfast, London, Cardiff, Glasgow and Greater Manchester.
Perhaps surprisingly, Geordies also seemed to be the most financially content. 84% stated that they were very or fairly satisfied with the financial circumstances of their household.
In addition, Newcastle residents were more satisfied than the inhabitants of other cities about the region of the UK they lived in. And when it came to job satisfaction, only Londoners were more content at work than Geordies.
42% of Newcastle’s inhabitants claimed to be satisfied with their city’s public transport. This was the ninth highest rating in Europe.
Generally speaking, residents of smallish cities like Newcastle seemed happier than those living in larger urban areas. The inhabitants of Barcelona, Berlin, Madrid, Rome and Istanbul all complained about public transport problems and high levels of noise.
Newcastle’s residents identified the three biggest challenges facing their city as unemployment, education and training, and issues with health services.
Nick Forbes, the leader of Newcastle City Council, said, “It is fantastic that Newcastle has been recognised in this way.”
“We are a great city and very proud of everything we have to offer. Geordies are renowned for being the friendliest people you will ever meet, but when you add that to our beautiful city, our countryside and amazing coastline we really do have a lot to be happy about.”