Hemel Hempstead crowned the happiest place to live in the East of England
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It's official – Hemel Hempstead has been crowned the happiest place to live in the East of England and the seventh happiest in the country in the latest edition of the Happy at Home index by Rightmove.
It topped St Albans which came fifth in the East of England region and 19th nationally. Neighbouring Watford came 131st in the country and 15th in the East of England region, with Luton finishing in 211th nationally.
The Happy at Home Index asked more than 26,000 people across Britain how they feel about various aspects of where they live, ranging from a sense of community to access to green space.
It compiled its statistics based on answers from residents who ranked their town on 13 'happiness factors'. The top five places were Richmond upon Thames, Winchester, Monmouth, Wokingham and Cirencester.
The East of England is the happiest region overall, with five towns featuring in the top 20.
The only region not to have a town listed in the top 20 is the East Midlands. Its highest-ranked place is Chesterfield, which came 73rd.
Table-topping Richmond upon Thames is the second most expensive area in the top 20 after Kensington and Chelsea, while Galashiels in Scotland is the cheapest.
Rightmove's survey found people living in rural areas were generally happier than those in cities and especially for those who lived near a national park or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
It also found people cared more about having access to nature and green spaces than public transport, shops and restaurants.
Feeling a sense of pride, belonging, and community is most likely to contribute to feeling happy to live in an area, more than having access to things like public transport, schools, and job opportunities.
Around one in three (30%) think they would be happier living somewhere else, with the South West the most popular region this group aspires to move to
To be happier, to move to a bigger home, or to make a lifestyle change are some of the most common reasons people want to move home.
The survey showed the average house price in Hemel Hempstead as £424,649 with the average rental at £1,703.