Revealed: The happiest and unhappiest places to live in Hertfordshire

Town Square in Stevenage, with the clock tower and fountain.

Stevenage has been revealed to have the highest levels of anxiety and the lowest levels of happiness in Hertfordshire. - Credit: Ben Sutherland on Creative Commons.

Stevenage has the highest levels of anxiety across Hertfordshire and is the unhappiest town in the area, according to new figures.

Hertfordshire's happiest and unhappiest places to live have been revealed using wellbeing data analysed by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

The ONS has used the results of a national survey which asked people to rate their level of happiness during the 12 months up to March 2021 to give areas an average figure. 

People were asked to rate their life satisfaction, happiness and anxiety levels out of 10.  

Stevenage's stats for anxiety have even reached the top three from across the nation, behind Spelthorne in Surrey and Rother in Sussex, respectively.

It is also the second unhappiest local authority in the UK.

The statistics also revealed St Albans to be the second-happiest place in the county, behind the East Hertfordshire region.

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Meanwhile, Welwyn and Hatfield recorded the highest ratings for life satisfaction in Hertfordshire. 

One Stevenage local, Laukan Creasey, responded to the news on Facebook: "Stevenage is impoverished but you're turning it into a 'commuter' town and outpricing locals."

Another local, Carol Baillie, added: "Very sad but not surprising really!"

Finally, Jøsh Holliday, quoted crime statistics from data website CrimeRate in his response: "That's because of the crime in Stevenage too.

"'The overall crime rate in Stevenage in 2021 was 81 crimes per 1,000 people.

"This compares poorly to Hertfordshire's overall crime rate, coming in 28 per cent higher than the Hertfordshire rate of 58 per 1,000 residents'."

In the ONS survey, people from each area were asked to rate their levels of life satisfaction, happiness, worthwhileness and anxiety out of ten.

An average was then taken for each result to create the statistic for each location.

Five areas were covered from across Hertfordshire, these included East Hertfordshire, North Hertfordshire, St Albans, Stevenage and Welwyn and Hatfield. Here's a run-through of the stats in your area:

East Hertfordshire

St Michael's Church in Bishops Stortford

East Hertfordshire recorded the highest happiness level in the county. - Credit: John Salmon on Creative Commons

East Hertfordshire recorded a score of 7.25 for life satisfaction, the lowest in the county, but received a score of 7.73 for worthwhileness, the second-highest in Hertfordshire.

The area has the highest happiness rating in Hertfordshire with 7.57, and the lowest anxiety level with 3.07.

North Hertfordshire

Ippollitts Brook near Hitchin.

North Hertfordshire recorded the highest levels of worthwhileness in the county. - Credit: Peter O'Connor on Creative Commons

North Hertfordshire has the second-highest life satisfaction rating in the county with 7.44, and the highest worthwhileness with 7.83.

The region sits in the middle-ground for both happiness and anxiety with 7.36 and 3.28 respectively.

St Albans

St Albans Cathedral from below.

St Albans recorded the second-highest happiness level across Hertfordshire. - Credit: JackPeasePhotography on Creative Commons

On to St Albans now, and the city recorded the middle statistic for life satisfaction in the county with 7.40, but saw the second-lowest worthwhileness score.

With 7.37, the former Roman city recorded the second-highest happiness figure across Hertfordshire, and the second-lowest levels of anxiety with 3.25.


A fountain in Stevenage Town Square.

Stevenage recorded the lowest levels of worthwhileness in the county. - Credit: paulsimpson1976 on Creative Commons

Stevenage saw the second-lowest rating for life satisfaction at 7.28, and the lowest rating for worthwhileness with 7.46.

The town also recorded the lowest happiness level at 6.58, and the highest levels of anxiety with 4.04.

Welwyn and Hatfield

Hatfield House on a sunny day.

Welwyn and Hatfield recorded the highest life satisfaction rating in Hertfordshire. - Credit: p_a_h on Creative Commons

Finally, Welwyn and Hatfield recorded the highest life satisfaction rating with 7.47, and a mid-table worthwhileness score of 7.57.

The area also recorded the second-lowest happiness levels of the five locations with 7.35, and the second highest anxiety levels with 3.31.