How much is the price of happiness in the UK?

Can money really buy happiness? Savings company Rasin looked at the happiest UK cities and just how much their residents earn.

How much is the price of happiness in the UK?
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They say money can’t buy happiness, but depending on how much you earn, money could undoubtedly buy you a rather comfortable lifestyle and afford you many opportunities.

Savings company Rasin recently took the time to discover the true cost of happiness in the UK by looking at 20 of the nation’s happiest cities and evaluating resident’s average earnings.

To carry out the research, Raisin looked at data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) personal well-being reports as well as data from the Happy Planet Index to reveal the average wealth of those living in the happiest UK towns.

Winchester rated as the happiest UK city

Those living in Winchester have another reason to put a smile on their faces as Raisin found this Southeast town to be one of the UK’s happiest. Combined with their happiness levels, Winchester also has a life expectancy of 83.6 years, giving it a total happiness index rating of 104. The average salary in Winchester is just £35,346, suggesting this as the price of happiness.

Coming in second is the Staffordshire city of Lichfield, whose life expectancy of 81.9 and a happiness rating of 23.8 gave it a Raisin happiness index rating of a perfectly round 100. The average salary of Lichfield residents is £33,360, slightly lower than those living in the marginally happier Winchester.

Altogether, the top ten happiest UK cities had a combined average income of £33,864, suggesting a link between the salary and a happy lifestyle. Raisin explained:

Cambridge, St Albans, Chelmsford, Perth, Edinburgh, Derby and Bath all made the top 10 list based on cities where money does buy happiness in the UK. Based on these results, the average happiness score of the top 10 happiest places was 23.6, with an average life expectancy of 82.2 years.

The savings company continued: ‘The average salary of the top 10 cities, which are the happiest according to our data, is £33,864, suggesting that people in the UK are happiest if they are earning over £30k.’

What is the average salary in the UK’s happiest cities?

Raisin compiled a list of the happiest UK cities and their average salaries, most of which sat between the £25k - £35k mark:

  1. Winchester (Happiness index rating: 104; Salary: £35,346)
  2. Lichfield (Happiness index rating: 100; Salary: £33,360)
  3. Chichester (Happiness index rating: 99; Salary: £31,894)
  4. Cambridge (Happiness index rating: 95; Salary: £33,225)
  5. St Albans (Happiness index rating: 94; Salary: £47,507)
  6. Chelmsford (Happiness index rating: 91; Salary: £32,849)
  7. Perth (Happiness index rating: 87; Salary: £29,768)
  8. Edinburgh (Happiness index rating: 87; Salary: £33,968)
  9. Derby (Happiness index rating: 84; Salary: £29,895)
  10. Bath and North East Somerset (Happiness index rating: 82; Salary: £30,828)
  11. Chester (Happiness index rating: 79; Salary: £30,557)
  12. London (Happiness index rating: 77; Salary: £41,220)
  13. Durham (Happiness index rating: 75; Salary: £27,594)
  14. Stirling (Happiness index rating: 71; Salary: £36,184)
  15. Leeds (Happiness index rating: 69; Salary: £27,712)
  16. Aberdeen (Happiness index rating: 67; Salary: £32,547)
  17. Oxford (Happiness index rating: 66; Salary: £28,983)
  18. Hereford (Happiness index rating: 64; Salary: £25,778)
  19. Gloucester (Happiness index rating: 64; Salary: £26,300)
  20. Lancaster (Happiness index rating: 63; Salary: £27,639)

Kevin Mountford, Co-Founder of Raisin UK, explained: ‘While our research suggests money can help ease the stresses of daily life, leading to a longer life expectancy and subsequently allowing you to buy happiness, it’s not always the case in real life.’

Our research can help you decide which city across the UK and country in the world to live in to maximise your chances of being the happiest you possibly can, but it’s up to you to make your own happiness.