According to figures released today by the Office of National Statistics (ONS), Dartford is one of the least five happy places in the United Kingdom.  ONS uses four survey questions to measure personal well-being.  People were asked to respond to the questions on a scale from 0 to 10 where 0 is ‘not at all’ and 10 is ‘completely’.  The four questions are:

“Overall, how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?”

“Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?”

“Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?”

“Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?”

In 2013/14, the average ratings for each of the four measures of personal well-being were:

  • 7.5 points out of 10 for life satisfaction (up 0.06 points on the previous year) Dartford scored 6.98
  • 7.7 out of 10 for feeling that what one does in life is worthwhile (up 0.05 points on the previous year) Dartford scored 7.28
  • 7.4 out of 10 for happiness yesterday (up 0.09 points on the previous year) Dartford scored 6.81
  • 2.9 out of 10 for anxiety yesterday (down 0.10 points on the previous year) Dartford scored 3.45

The table below shows the comparable figures, average (mean) rating for the UK, Kent (as a whole) and the respective areas of Kent:-

Life Satisfaction Worthwhile Happiness Anxiety
UNITED KINGDOM 7.51 7.74 7.38 2.93
KENT 7.5 7.8 7.43 2.89
Ashford 7.61 7.73 7.58 2.66
Canterbury 7.67 7.86 7.32 3.21
Dartford 6.98 7.28 6.81 3.45
Dover 7.68 8.09 7.39 3.08
Gravesham 7.26 7.85 7.61 2.36
Maidstone 7.56 7.88 7.58 2.76
Sevenoaks 7.74 7.87 7.38 2.8
Shepway 7.42 7.92 7.61 3.3
Swale 7.74 7.82 7.41 2.53
Thanet 7.24 7.85 7.48 2.79
Tonbridge and Malling 7.54 7.75 7.62 2.73
Tunbridge Wells 7.32 7.61 7.15 3.17

About the author

Andy Clark is retired after a long career at Lloyds Register and subsequently the Civil Service. He has lived in Dartford for his entire life.

2 comments on “Dartford is One of the Least Happy Areas of the Uk”

  1. Sarah Reply

    Dartford does need to cheer up – but the town centre has got to answer for in helping in that. There are too many empty and run down areas around the centre and revamping the shopping centres would be a good thing. It feels like the place is stuck in the mid 90’s and more green spaces wouldn’t go amiss either.

  2. Ian B Reply

    Ha, lets not kid ourselves, are we really surprised.
    On a daily basis we read about an actual depressed town, still in economic decline when others are moving forward.
    We have a very large number of politicians who clearly fail to know what’s going on and fail to communicate with their public for most of the year.
    Thanks to Dartford matters and a few other social media sources we actually get to see the projects and events going on.
    Even our local press only get to report on the misery that has become Dartford.
    DBC and many forget how fantastic it is to be surrounded by countryside and a river and outlying villages. ( yes we are here as well)
    Many of the public prefer Bexley, Gravesham even Thurrock. (Dont get me started on the Dartford crossing chaos and pollution every other day)
    Consecutive governments and local politicians need to be much more outspoken and supportive, something i have failed to see enough off in my relative new (17 years) of living here in Dartford.
    The private investment that has come forward even now seems to be wary of wanting to go through any project through the daily misery of Dartford.
    Dartford is great.
    Those of power in the tower allegedly don’t care, of course they do care but a few have pulled us down to their level, don’t let them win, open your eyes, pull your finger out and if those in power wont do the same get rid of them the next chance you get.
    They might “all be the same” but you’ll never know if you you don’t make the difference yourself.
    Most of all smile at your family and those around, don’t let the fact that a third of the borough looks like a bomb site get you down.

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