Glasgow least happy city in Scotland, survey finds

Glasgow is Scotland's least happy city, a survey has revealed, despite more than half of Scots telling pollsters they were feeling broadly positive about the lives.

A survey has found that people in Glasgow are the least happy in Scotland.
A survey has found that people in Glasgow are the least happy in Scotland.
A survey has found that people in Glasgow are the least happy in Scotland.

Asked to rate their life on a scale of zero, the worst possible life; to 10, the best; the Scottish population gave an average response of 6.18. A majority, 51 per cent, reported a score of seven or higher, reflecting broadly positive feelings about their lives.

But in Glasgow, the country's biggest city, residents were the least happy with a mean score of just 5.69, according to the first Scottish Wellbeing Index poll.

Mark Diffley, founder and director of the Diffley Partnership, which launched the survey with Charlotte Street Partners, said: “This inaugural report highlights significant differences in how different parts of society are feeling, with wellbeing driven by issues such as age, employment status, and where you live.”

The survey of 2203 people aged 16 or over found that average wellbeing in the most deprived neighbourhoods is 19 per cent lower than in the most affluent, with respondents in the most deprived areas deeming their lives 20 per cent less worthwhile than their more affluent counterparts.

In terms of regional inequalities, the Lothian region is both the happiest and most equal in terms of current subjective wellbeing, with an average score of 6.37 out of 10, the survey said. Glasgow is the least happy and most unequal, with an average score of 5.69.

But people in Scotland are also broadly optimistic about their wellbeing over the next five years, according to the index.

With the exception of pensioners and older respondents, all groups expect higher wellbeing in five years’ time. And, while still below the national average, students report higher life satisfaction and happiness, as well as lower anxiety, than young people more broadly.

“As we emerge from the pandemic and seek to forge a wellbeing economy, a robust, reliable and regular tracker of Scottish wellbeing has never been more important,” said Mr Diffley.

The survey found people in Scotland felt largely satisfied and happy, but that anxiety is high. It also showed that having a job or not saw the starkest difference in wellbeing.