Happiest Cities Index


Family in city happy

As we move forward in a post-lockdown world, where are the happiest places for Brits to live and work after the pandemic?

There are a number of factors that play an important role when thinking about where we want to live. Whether it's that all-important work-life balance or making a comfortable living. 

But where in the UK is the happiest city to live and work?

We’ve analysed a range of factors from crime rate to number of takeaways and ranked UK cities to find out which is the happiest for both work and life.

The Happiest Cities to Live & Work

If you're looking for somewhere with the perfect balance of work and happiness, then Aberdeen is the perfect city for you according to our research. Taking many factors into account, Aberdeen scores a high 6.67 out of 10, topping all other UK cities.

With working hours being 0.4 under the UK average, commute times being 13 minutes under the UK average as well as 72 takeaways and 14 parks to explore, you could expect to have a great work-life balance.

The top ranking English city is Middlesbrough, coming in at third place. Middlesbrough scores an average of 5.70 out of 10 on the happiness rankings. The UK city has weekly working hours of 35 which is 1.2 hours more than the UK average. As well as boasting 28 takeaways and an impressive 52 parks, you’ll have the chance to relax in many of their open spaces.


The top 15 cities in the UK to live for happiness

When comparing metrics such as crime rates, quality of life, number of parks and the average house price, Aberdeen ranked top with the highest happiness rating.

Aberdeen could offer the perfect balance to ensure you'll be satisfied if happiness is the main priority for you and your family. Offering 17.39 hours of daylight and a low crime rate mixed with 72 takeaways and 14 parks, living in the Scottish city could give you and your family plenty of reasons to smile.

Interestingly, Scotland and Ireland dominate the top five UK cities with the highest happiness ratings, leaving Sunderland to rank third - the highest of any English city.

Scroll horizontally to view all cities 



The top 15 cities for a work-life balance

For those who are more career orientated, we also ranked UK cities against more work focused metrics to find out where in the UK is the best for work-life balance. These metrics include average salaries on offer, average weekly hours worked and average commute times.

Aberdeen came out top again with an average monthly salary of £2,304.55, £354.55 higher than the average UK monthly salary. Weekly working hours are 0.4 hours less than the average, with commute times also lower by 13 minutes.

Belfast is boasting a very healthy working week, 2.2 hours less than the UK's average and London is leading with the best average monthly salary - proving why they deserve second and third place!

So, whether happiness is the most important thing for you or the balance of work and life, which UK city would you consider moving to?


Sources used:

Quality of life index, cost of monthly bills, average monthly salaries, crime rate

Quality of life: For Wolverhampton, Bolton, Swansea, Sunderland, Huddersfield, Poole, Ipswich, Telford, Gloucester the closest cities were used

Average commute time: For Bolton, Gloucester, Huddersfield, Middlesbrough, Poole, Slough, Leeds, Telford, Wolverhampton the closest cities were used


"Delivery" feature used for restaurants in each city


Data taken from 'current average value' on Zoopla