Picture gallery: Uttlesford climbs to second spot in most desirable places to live survey

Doctors Pond at Great Dunmow

Doctors Pond at Great Dunmow - Credit: Archant

With Christmas cheer in full swing now is a good time to reveal what we already suspected – that residents in Uttlesford are officially amongst the happiest in the country.

St Mary's Parish Church Saffron Walden

St Mary's Parish Church Saffron Walden - Credit: Archant

The season of goodwill has lived up to its billing after it was announced the district has been ranked the second most desirable place to live in the UK, climbing six spots from last year.

Today’s announcement, following the publishing of the latest Halifax Quality of Life survey, also revealed that – more than any other place in the UK – adults in Uttlesford believe what they do in life is worthwhile.

Leader of Uttlesford District Council, Cllr Jim Ketteridge, said: “We are very pleased to hear that Uttlesford has been ranked so highly and that residents here enjoy a healthy and happy lifestyle.

“With 97 per cent of our residents in good health and 84 per cent in employment these are very encouraging statistics. I was particularly impressed to hear that residents in the district believe, more than in any other part of the UK, that what they do in life is worthwhile and as such they are among the most satisfied and happiest in the country. These are results that we should be proud of.”

Uttlesford performed admirably on a range of indicators aimed at determining how good the quality of life is for residents.

Weekly average earnings are £819 and at 81.8 years men have a higher than average life expectancy. However, the survey did show that living in Uttlesford is expensive, with an unfavourable average house price to earnings ratio.

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The annual Halifax Quality of Life Survey takes into account a wide range of factors, including residents’ health and life expectancy, crime rate, weather, employment, school results, broadband access and personal wellbeing.

The leafy Hampshire district of Hart kept its crown as the most desirable place to live in the UK for the third year in a row. Its residents are the healthiest and live the longest, while the employment rate of 80 per cent is significantly higher than the national average (71 per cent).

Like Uttlesford, the adult population is amongst the most happy, satisfied and content in the UK.

Nearby East Hertfordshire was ranked fifth in the survey, South Cambridgeshire 11th and East Cambridgeshire 22nd.

• HAVE YOUR SAY? Why is Uttlesford such a great place to live? E-mail your thoughts to editor@saffronwalden-reporter.co.uk