A prosperity divide and neither rich nor poor seem happy

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Photo: © Acmanley | Dreamstime.com

The people of Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea and Camden are among the wealthiest on average in the UK, but money is not buying them happiness, as they are more miserable than many across the country.

These findings emerge in an index that looks at the combination of wealth and life satisfaction to indicate levels of prosperity. It suggests that 6 London boroughs (Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Wandsworth, Camden and the City of London) are the most prosperous in the country. But 4 others (Bexley, Greenwich, Brent and Croydon) are in the bottom 10 of 170 areas assessed.

The high prosperity scores for London boroughs are based largely on wealth not well-being. The Legatum Institute, a think tank that says that it is focused on promoting prosperity, put the index together. It used GDP per capita as a measure of wealth and the life satisfaction data collected by the Office for National Statistics.

Residents in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Wandsworth, Camden and the City of London, enjoy an average income of £133,000. 15 of the top 20 areas in the UK for average earnings, including Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Haringey and Islington, are in London. But the spread of wealth is not uniform across the capital and some boroughs come at the lower end of the table. Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Enfield and Barking and Dagenham have average earnings of £14,300.

What is common to all London boroughs however is the low level of life satisfaction. The happiest place in the UK according the ONS measure is the Outer Hebrides. Out of 170 areas the only London borough to squeeze into the top 50 is Bromley at 49 in the rankings.

Wealthy Hammersmith and Fulham and Kensington and Chelsea are down in the mid 80s and only 6 other boroughs (Ealing, Merton, Sutton, Kingston, Richmond and Hounslow) make it into the top 100.

While residents of Camden and the City of London come top for earnings they are in the bottom 10 when it comes to happiness, along with Croydon and Brent. Haringey and Islington folk also seem to be miserable – 11th from bottom in the life satisfaction rankings.

Source data

See also

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

Pay rates underline gap between rich and poor boroughs

Welcome to the city of the super rich

 

 

Anxious, unhappy, dissatisfied with life? Perhaps you live in Hackney or Barking?

despair

How happy are you? Did you feel anxious yesterday? Are you satisfied with life, and does your life feel worthwhile? These are the questions the Office for National Statistics has been asking since 2010 to try to understand the nation’s well-being.

The most recent rankings show that people in Richmond and Kensington and Chelsea are most pleased with their lot in life while those in Barking and Dagenham, Hackney and Lambeth seem to have little to smile about.

The results are based upon a national survey carried out by the ONS that questions around 120,000 people nationally and over 13,000 in London. The responses indicate a greater sense of well-being in south and west London, in line with the GLA’s own well-being index, previously reported by Urbs.

When it comes to satisfaction with life the small resident population of the City of London came out top, closely followed by Kensington. At the other end of the scale the survey respondents in Barking and Dagenham and Lambeth were least satisfied.

ONS Well-being Survey
How satisfied are you with your life?
Most Satisfied Least satisfied
City of London Barking and Dagenham
Kensington and Chelsea Lambeth
Richmond Camden
Southwark Hackney
Merton Greenwich

There was a similar result at the top and bottom of the rankings when it came to whether life felt worthwhile.

ONS Well-being Survey
To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
Worthwhile Not worthwhile
Kensington and Chelsea Lambeth
City of London Barking and Dagenham
Hillingdon Hackney
Bexley Camden
Richmond Brent

In terms of happiness the affluent areas of Richmond and Kensington and Chelsea score well once more, and Bromley on the southern outer edge of the capital also has happy residents. Hackney and Barking and Dagenham feature again but at the wrong end of the rankings.

ONS Well-being Survey
How happy did you feel yesterday?
Most happy Least happy
Kensington and Chelsea Hackney
Bromley Barking and Dagenham
Richmond Hammersmith and Fulham
Barnet Waltham Forest
Hounslow Westminster

As well as being unhappy the survey respondents in Hackney and Barking and Dagenham were also the most anxious people in the capital. As their boroughs feature in the bottom 5 in all 4 categories perhaps that’s not surprising.

ONS Well-being Survey
How anxious did you feel yesterday?
Least anxious Most anxious
Enfield Hackney
Barnet Barking and Dagenham
Harrow Lambeth
Newham Southwark
Hillingdon Islington

The least anxious were not in the affluent areas that scored well in other categories but in the North London boroughs of Enfield, Barnet and Harrow.

Source data

See also

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

Are you a north of the river or south of the river Londoner?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well-being and wealth – how South West London soars ahead of the rest

Fine homes in Kensington and Chelsea,  where well-being is high

Fine homes in Kensington and Chelsea, where well-being is high

The happiest and most contented people in London live largely in the well-to-do South West of the city. The area where more people are unhappy or feel they are struggling is Enfield.

That is the finding from the Greater London Authority’s well-being index, and data just released shows how residents rate their well-being across 625 wards, the neighbourhoods within boroughs. Perhaps predictably people in the wealthier areas of London rate their well-being as high, those in poorer neighbourhoods do not.

The GLA defined well-being by identifying 12 criteria for people to rate across the categories of health, economic security, safety, education, childcare, families, transport, environment, and happiness

The results show that the happiest, most secure and contented people in London live in the up-market Knightsbridge/Belgravia ward in the borough of Westminster.

The top 20 wards included 15 in affluent South West London, including wards in Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, Merton and Kingston. Bromley in the South East featured strongly with 4 wards in the top 20. West London scored 1 top 20 place with Northfield ward in Ealing.

The top 5:

Position Ward Borough
1 Knightsbridge and Belgravia Westminster
2 Campden Kensington and Chelsea
3 West Wickham Bromley
4 South Twickenham Richmond upon Thames
5 East Sheen Richmond upon Thames

The lowest sense of well-being was recorded in Edmonton Green in Enfield. Enfield scores high in the unhappiness stakes with 3 other wards in the bottom 10. The bottom 20 are concentrated in  North and North East London and include wards in Haringey, Barking and Dagenham, Newham, Hackney, Brent, Tower Hamlets, Havering, plus Croydon in the south.

The bottom 5;

Position Ward Borough
621 Upper Edmonton Enfield
622 Northumberland Park Haringey
623 Harlsden Brent
624 Fieldway Croydon
625 Edmonton Green Enfield

The ward map underlines how people in South West and West London have a high sense of well-being which is not shared by their fellow Londoners in the poorer areas in the North.  The green areas represent high scores, the orange and red, low scores on the index.

well being map 9

While East London gets lower scores, the corridor along both banks of the Thames between Canary Wharf and Thamesmead has shown a marked improvement since 2009.

Source data