Happiness is a place called Rutland – and that's official
Rutland may be England's smallest county but it is also its happiest – according to the Government.
It was revealed in a survey by the Office of National Statistics looking for the places in England where people are the most content.
It also ranked second for the whole of the UK behind only Orkney and Shetland in Scotland.
The poll asked people to rate how happy they are with life and 85 per cent of people living in the county said: "Very satisfied."
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That compares with a national average of 71.1 per cent and 70.7 per cent for Leicestershire.
The findings have been endorsed by people living in the county.
Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy said: "Those already living here have known for a long time that we live in a fantastic area with high-quality education, low crime rates, minimal road congestion and pollution, as well as some of the best countryside right on our doorstep.
"Rutland is not only a great place to live but also a wonderful tourist destination that attracts people from across the country each year."
Canon Lee Francis-Dehqani , Rural Dean of Rutland, said: "I am not surprised to read that people in Rutland score very highly in this survey of satisfaction.
"Our county is full of very supportive communities where many people give tirelessly to voluntary services.
"Since moving here from London eight years ago our whole family has been very happy."
Freelance photographer and former Mayor of Oakham, Jim Harrison, who has lived in the county for 30 years, said: "Quite right. It's a lovely place to live. It's known as the secret county and people who live here are very happy."
Ruth Beaver, owner of Castle Cottage cafe, in Oakham, said; "It's a very happy place and we get lots of happy people in here. My experience of being here is that Rutland is a very happy place."
Maureen Dodds, of Ranksborough Hall Park, Oakham, said: "We have got some lovely villages and great examples of the village way of life.
"On the whole, it's a lovely place and it's a pleasure to live here. I'm very happy the county came so high up the scale."
Oakham businessman Peter Jones said: "It's always nice when your instincts and feelings are proven to be correct by national statistics and I am happy to live in the county.
"Its location and size are perfect and people feel they belong, it has good access and communications and excellent schools.
"We have no areas of deep deprivation or industrial wasteland, instead we have Rutland Water and quintessential English countryside. Put it all together and it's very hard to beat."
The figures come from the first Integrated Household Survey of 200,000 people aged 16 and over between April, 2011 and March, 2012.
It was conducted as part of Prime Minister David Cameron's initiative, launched in 2010, to assess the wellbeing of the nation alongside economic data like Gross Domestic Product (GDP).