UK's happiest workers live in these 10 cities

Kalila Sangster
·2-min read
Female office worker in her 50s smiling and looking away, cheerful expression, carefree, relaxed
Edinburgh is home to the UK's happiest workers, according to new research. Photo: Getty

The happiest workers in the UK live in Edinburgh, new research from SmartSurvey has revealed.

Employees in the Scottish capital work a median 35 hours per week with the lowest number of overtime hours worked — a median 2.3 hours.

Workers spend an average of 20.6 minutes commuting to and from work per day, and with the median annual salary standing at £28,829 ($39,487) — the highest in the top 10 — and an average happiness score of 7.37, Edinburgh’s workers are the UK’s happiest, according to the study.

The research analysed 50 of the UK’s biggest towns and cities based on factors including median annual earnings, median overtime hours worked, average happiness score, average life satisfaction score, and average commute time.

The coastal town of Bournemouth in the South West of England came in second with short commute times of 17.5 minutes and the highest level of happiness in the country, with 7.75 out of 10, according to the Office for National Statistics’ personal well-being in the UK dataset.

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Brighton and Hove on the south coast came in at number three with a happiness score of 7.61, and 7.77 out of 10 for life satisfaction as well as racking up some of the highest annual earnings on the list of the , at £27,865.

Another seaside town, Southend-on-Sea, was at number four with a happiness score of 7.51, a life satisfaction score of 7.71, and a median yearly salary of £26.755. Four locations in the top 10 were coastal towns.

Bristol was fifth on the list with a median annual salary of £27,507 and a life satisfaction score of 7.49.

Colchester was at number six, followed by Glasgow, Liverpool, and Manchester.

Milton Keynes rounded out the top 10 with the lowest commuting time, at 14.1 minutes. Only Peterborough, which came in at number 14, rivalled Milton Keynes for commute time, also clocking in 14.1 minutes.

Milton Keynes also boasts the second highest median salary in the top 10 — £28,545 per year.

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London was at number 13, with the highest salaries in the country —an annual average of £32,533.

At number 18, Reading scored the highest in the UK for overall satisfaction at work and home, with 7.81, out of 10, according to the Office for National Statistics’ personal well-being in the UK dataset.

In total, there were 10 towns and cities in the top 50 which had an average basic working week of just 35 hours. These were the top nine locations for the UK’s happiest workers and London.

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