Living for the cash machine – Happiness and wealth in the UK

They say money can’t buy you happiness, but is it really true? We take a look at the happiest and wealthiest cities in the UK.

A new study from Marbles looks into the correlation between happiness, anxiety, cost of living, and disposable income across the UK to map out the effects of one on the other.

Comprising several maps to cover different comparisons, it offers a visual guide to how finances relate to emotional state, as well as the wealth and happiness distribution across the UK.

Wealth in the UK’s happiest cities

Income up and down the country can vary, but its correlation with happiness is not always as cut and dry. Many areas with proportionally higher levels of wealth often fail to score as well in our ‘Happiness Ranking’. Have a look at some of the notable results from our study below:

Northern Ireland – Disposable income in Northern Ireland was discovered to be the lowest of all regions of the UK (£14,645) – 9.3 per cent below the national average. However, across all metrics, the town of Armagh and the city of Newry topped our Happiness ranking.
Portsmouth – While its surrounding region fares well in terms of average disposable income (ADI), the coastal city in Hampshire ranked 3rd in the happiness ranking and 1st in England with an ADI of £14,025.
London – The Capital, unsurprisingly boasts the highest average disposable income of all locations (£23,607). It appears this does not always equate to a better life, with London coming only 24th in the Happiness ranking.

Anxiety and wealth

Wealth doesn’t automatically lead to anxiety or happiness, it seems, but it can have an effect.

The research found that Liverpool had the highest levels of anxiety at 3.43 out of a possible ten, and one of the lowest average disposable incomes at £13,810.00, suggesting that financial stability is something of a concern in the area. As a counterbalance, however, Coventry had a lower amount of disposable income, but also one of the lowest levels of anxiety.

The lowest disposable income on the list belonged to Leicester at £12,071, who came 12th for anxiety levels, scoring themselves 3.12 out of ten on average for anxiety levels.

London, meanwhile, had the highest disposable income at £23,607 on average, but was in the middle of the ranks for anxiety at 3.01, suggesting that money isn’t the largest factor either in a positive or negative sense for the capital’s residents.

For the rest of the information, and for a visualisation of how happiness and wealth are both distributed across the UK, have a look at the full piece here.

Further reading on happiness and wealth

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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