Comment: Happy days across Herts - especially in St Albans

Sandridge Road, St Albans. Picture: Archant

St Albans and East Herts have been named as Hertfordshire's happiest areas. - Credit: Archant

St Albans has been called many things over the years, not all of them suitable for publication in a family newspaper. 

One description that the city would have no problem sharing loud and proud is 'Hertfordshire's happiest place', however. 

Yes, St Albans has beaten off competition from the more miserable likes of Stevenage and Watford to be named the happiest part of Herts. 

Which makes a change from 'poshest', 'most over-priced' and 'most full of coffee shops'. 

The happiest and unhappiest places to live were revealed in an Office for National Statistics (ONS) study of personal wellbeing data, with respondents rating their level of happiness out of ten.

This resulted in an overall average score for each council area, with St Albans City and District Council and East Herts Council (home of Hertford and Ware) joyously joint top with a score of 7.9, while Welwyn Hatfield ranked last with a less cheery 7.3.

The ONS looked at factors including life satisfaction, happiness and anxiety to come up with the total wellbeing score. 

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(It's worth noting that St Albans came top for happiness and joint top for life satisfaction. An oversupply of coffee shops will do that.)

The data was gathered between April 2019 and March 2020, meaning it mostly avoided the known happiness vacuum that was the first national lockdown, which began on March 23, 2020.

Of course, we'll never know if things would have played out differently when we were all stuck at home. 

Would Hatfield residents still have suffered the most? Or would much of the Galleria being shut have made things even more miserable over in AL10?

Who knows. But as we begin to move out of this third lockdown, I've got high hopes for happier times all over Herts.