Did you know that Banbridge is the seventh happiest place to live in the UK? Neither did our friends on Facebook, who are sceptical about the results.
According to the Office of National Statistics, Banbridge, along with a host of other towns in Northern Ireland, is a very happy, contented place to live.
However, according to responses on Facebook, this doesn’t seem to be the case.
“Amazing considering the high suicide rate” said one man, whilst another commented: “How is this survey measured and what are the results based on? I think they have it the wrong way round Banbridge is the 7th depressing town in the UK because of its backward council and lack of support to proposed events from them ie Oktoberfest.”
An expat, who left the town for sunnier climes added: “UK must still be a depressing place to live if Banbridge got 7th and its backward council with it...think I’ll remain living in Australia.”
Another reader said more could be done to improve the town. “There are a lot of lovely people in it, but it disturbs me they think that makes it a happy town. There are a lot of problems that we don’t see when we are driving our new cars and checking our phones. Our town needs a place of refuge for people just having a really hard time, whether it be financially, with addictions, or with depression in general.”
Another reader also agreed that Banbridge needed improvement. “The town is grand to live in but there is nothing for young kids to do. I have two young boys and if I want to do anything with them I have to take them out of the town.”
Despite this, there are people who are happy in Banbridge. “Can anyone please tell me a better town to live in??? I have been to most towns in Northern Ireland and I can tell you I wouldn’t take a free house in any of them.”
Another added: “There are a lot worse places to live than Banbridge, I am quite happy in the town.”
The report from the Office of National Statistics suggests that people living in rural areas are happier than those in cities because they enjoy a greater sense of community and easy access to the countryside.
ONS is conducting new research for the first time to understand whether “access to green spaces” and the “sense of community” in rural areas makes people happier.
Do you think Banbridge is a happy place to live? What makes you happy about Banbridge? Share your thoughts by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org