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Edinburgh is the happiest city in the UK

Edinburgh has topped the list of the UK’s happiest cities to work in based on hours, salary and life-satisfaction. 

Fifty of the UK’s biggest towns and cities where surveyed based on six factors including annual earnings, overtime hours, commute time and happiness and to reveal the UK’s happiest workforce

The research, from SmartSurvey found Edinburgh had one of the highest median salaries – at £28,829 – and workers in Edinburgh also had the fewest number of average overtime hours worked. 

In second place was Bournemouth, which had the lowest amount of weekly working hours as well as a short commute time. 

But most importantly, its locals reported the highest level of happiness in the country, with 7.75 out of 10.

Brighton and Hove ranked third with the same average 35-hour working week as the top two cities, with a happiness score of 7.61 out of 10 and 7.77 out of 10 when it came to life satisfaction. 

Meanwhile, London had the highest median income – at £32,553 – but was only 13th overall due to long working hours and commutes.

At the bottom of the list was Northampton, who earn an average of £24,243 and usually work more than 40 hours a week. 

The top ten best places to work in the UK  
Rank  Local Authority    Region   Annual Earnings  Basic Hours  Overtime Hours   Average Happiness   Life Satisfaction Commute Time   Overall Score
1 Edinburgh  Scotland    £28,829  35.0  2.3  7.37  7.6  20.6mins   82.84 
Bournemouth  South West    £25,184  35.0  2.8  7.75  7.77  17.5mins 77.15 
Brighton and Hove  South East    £27,865  35.0  3.0  7.32  7.61  18.2mins 77.09 
Southend-on-Sea  East    £26,755  35.0  2.9  7.51  7.71  20.9mins 75.31 
Bristol  South West    £27,507  35.0  3.0  7.27  7.49  21.6mins 74.08 
Colchester  East    £24,962  35.0  2.9  7.33  7.47  21.2mins 72.30 
Glasgow  Scotland    £25,705  35.0  3.1  7.23  7.5  19.8mins 72.24 
Liverpool  North West    £24,963  35.0  3.4  7.33  7.48  19.1mins 69.33 
Manchester  North West    £23,017  35.0  3.2  7.45  7.54  19.7mins 68.69 
10  Milton Keynes  South East    £28,545  37.0  3.0  7.33  7.6  14.1mins 68.67 

The UK’s happiest cities to live and work in:

1. Edinburgh 

Scotland’s Capital City has been named the happiest place to work with an overall score of 82.84. Stock image 

Taking all the factors into account, Scotland’s Capital City has been named the happiest place to work with an overall score of 82.84. 

The city was was joint top when it came to average hours worked with 35 hours as well as having the lowest average overtime hours too with 2 hours and 20 minutes.

The city also scored well when it came to the average commute time with just 20 minutes and 36 seconds. They have a median salary of £28,829. 

Edinburgh is famed for its medieval Old Town and Georgian New Town surrounded by neoclassical architecture and once lockdown restrictions have eased,  tourists can visit famous landmarks such as Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat in Holyrood Park.   

2. Bournemouth 

In second place was Bournemouth which reported the highest level of happiness in the country, with 7.75 out of 10. Stock image

In second place was Bournemouth which reported the highest level of happiness in the country, with 7.75 out of 10. Stock image

In second place was Bournemouth, a coastal resort town in the south which reported the highest level of happiness in the country, with 7.75 out of 10.

The town enjoys short 17 minute and 30 second commute time on average and have a low average number of  two hours and 48 minutes of overtime worked per week. 

With a joint top average working week of 35-hours, the median salary of those working in Bournemouth is £25,184. 

The coastal port normally offers plenty of fun activities outside of work including its own museum house and a variety of galleries and performance spaces. 

3. Brighton and Hove 

Brighton came third on the list of the UK's happiest cities to live in with an overall score of 77.09. Stock image

Brighton came third on the list of the UK’s happiest cities to live in with an overall score of 77.09. Stock image 

Another seaside city in the south came third on the list of the UK’s happiest cities to live in with an overall score of 77.09. 

Brighton has an average salary of £27,865, and those living there only have to work an average of 35 hours per week, with just three hours of overtime. 

Their commute is an average of 18 minutes and 12 seconds and locals of this town have an average satisfaction score of 7.61. 

After work locals have plenty to enjoy, including the legendary pier, golf courses, British Airways i360 observation tower and of course Brighton beach. 

4. Southend-on-Sea

Southend-on-Sea was high up on the list and had an overall happiness score of 75.31. Stock image

Southend-on-Sea was high up on the list and had an overall happiness score of 75.31. Stock image

Another coastal town in the top ten is Southend-on-Sea,  a resort town on the Thames Estuary in Essex,  boasting an overall score of 75.31. 

With an average salary of £26,755 a year, it takes residents of Southend-on-Sea an average of just 20 minutes and 54 seconds to get to work everyday. 

Workers in Southend-on-Sea have an average week of 35 hours, similarly to the top three city’s on the list, with 2 hours and 54 minutes overtime each week.  

Famed for their colourful Beach Huts on Thorpe Bay, the long Southend Pier is serviced by a small train while The Cliff Lift clings to the hillside and offers coastal views of the stunning seaside town. 

Bristol

Bristol made the top ten with a higher average salary of £27,507 and the shorter working week of 35 hours. Stock image

Bristol made the top ten with a higher average salary of £27,507 and the shorter working week of 35 hours. Stock image

Bristol made the top ten with a higher average salary of £27,507 and the shorter working week of 35 hours.  

Bristolians have high general happiness levels, with their life-satisfaction score 7.49 and their overall score 74.08. 

With only three hours overtime and a 21  minute and 36 second average commute, residents have time to take advantage of everything Bristol has to offer. 

The city surrounds the River Avon and the harbour’s 19th-century warehouses which now contains restaurants, shops and cultural institutions. 

Colchester 

Sixth on the list was Colchester with an average salary of £24,962 and just 2.9 hours overtime. Stock image

Sixth on the list was Colchester with an average salary of £24,962 and just 2.9 hours overtime. Stock image

Sixth on the list was Colchester, a large town in Essex with the second largest population of a borough in the East of England. 

Employees can expect an average salary of £24,962 with a 35 hour working week and 2 hours and 56 minutes overtime. 

With an overall score of 72.30, workers have a happiness rating of 7.33 and life satisfaction score of 7.47. 

Castle Park is home to Colchester Castle, the huge Norman keep built on the foundations of a Roman temple, as well as a Georgian townhouse which now homes the Hollytrees Museum, homing three centuries of artefacts. 

Glasgow

Glasgow has a life-satisfaction score of 7.5 and overall happiness score of 7.23. Stock image

Glasgow has a life-satisfaction score of 7.5 and overall happiness score of 7.23. Stock image

This port city on the River Clyde made the top ten of the list, with workers awarding the city an overall score of 72.24. 

Glasgow is the fifth most populated city in the UK, with those working in the area reporting a life-satisfaction score of 7.5 and overall happiness score of 7.23. 

With transport a system encompassing rail, road, and an underground line, residents of Glasgow can expect a short commute with an average of 19 minutes and 48 seconds.

Famed for its Victorian and art nouveau architecture, when lockdown restrictions have loosened locals will be keen to visit the Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, or to take in a show at the National Theatre of Scotland.  

Liverpool

Liverpool was seventh on the list with an overall happiness score of 69.33. Stock image

Liverpool was seventh on the list with an overall happiness score of 69.33. Stock image 

This maritime city in northwest was seventh on the list with an overall happiness score of 69.33. 

Employees in this area have an average salary of £24,963 with a working week of 35 hours and overtime of 3 hours and 24 minutes. 

Liverpudlians have overall happiness score of 7.33 while their life- satisfaction score was 7.48. 

Famously, Liverpool is home of the waterfront where mercantile buildings such as the Royal Liver Building, Cunard Building and Port of Liverpool Building are located.   

Manchester 

Manchester made the top ten of the list with happiness score of 7.45 and life satisfaction score of 7.54. Stock image

Manchester made the top ten of the list with happiness score of 7.45 and life satisfaction score of 7.54. Stock image 

Manchester made the top ten of the list with  happiness score of 7.45 and life satisfaction score of 7.54. 

The city has the second densest population in the UK and has excellent transport links around the city, with workers reporting an average commute time of 19 minutes and 42 seconds. 

Employees can expect a salary of around £23,017 with a 35 hour working week and 3 hours and 12 minutes of overtime per week.   

Home to the Old Trafford and a bustling music scene, those living in this northern city have plenty to do.

Milton Keynes 

Milton Keynes has been names one of the best places to work in the UK with an overall score of 68.67. Stock image

Milton Keynes has been names one of the best places to work in the UK with an overall score of 68.67. Stock image

Milton Keynes was created in 1967 to alleviate housing shortages in London, but has since become one of the best places to work in the UK with an overall score of 68.67. 

The largest town in Buckinghamshire is just 50 miles north-west of London. 

With excellent transport links and affordable modern housing, this town is a popular location for workers with residents reporting a happiness score of 7.33 and life satisfaction score of 7.6. 

The average salary of an employee in Milton Keynes was 14 minute and six second commute while the average salary is £28,545 for a 37 hour working week.  

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