Moving to the countryside will make you happier and less stressed

A nationwide study has revealed more than 31 per cent of people living in rural areas consider themselves 'mostly happy' '“ compared to 23 per cent of city inhabitants.

Wednesday, 2nd January 2019, 1:01 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:29 am
People living in cities were also more worried about the quality of schools, and twice as likely to worry about air quality than people who live in the country

According to the research, as many as one in five people who live in a city admit to being constantly stressed, compared to just ten per cent of those who live in the countryside.

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The survey also found people in the countryside are happier with their neighbourhoods than those living in cities.

People living in cities were also more worried about the quality of schools, and twice as likely to worry about air quality than people who live in the country

In fact, the study of 2,000 Britons revealed urban residents were more likely to be worried about crime than their country counterparts, with more than a quarter of city dwellers worrying about crime compared to less than a fifth of country residents.

The study also found those who live in a city are more concerned about safe neighbourhoods, with more than 21 per cent expressing anxiety about their children having safe places to play, compared to 17 per cent of rural dwellers.

Those living in cities were also more worried about the quality of schools, and twice as likely to worry about air quality than people who live in the country.

However, the study, commissioned by Yopa, who has launched its 2019 Commuter Guide, revealed that, despite country dwellers being generally happier, there are downsides relating to living in the sticks.

The main bugbears to emerge were a lack of decent public transport (41 per cent) and as many as 40 per cent of those living outside of a city said they often feel lonely and cut off.

Benefits of living in a city were given as great public transport (42 per cent), a vibrant nightlife (35 per cent) and a wide choice of work and career options (30 per cent).

However as many as three quarters of people living in cities said they would jump at the chance of moving to the countryside.

The main obstacles holding Brits back from moving included the cost of commuting back into town (32 per cent), while 28 per cent said they would struggle to know where to move to.

But according to the data, a fifth of people living in cities worry about the cost of housing and being able to afford a property which is big enough for their family.

They are also more likely to be anxious about being scammed and identity theft than those who live in outside the city – 16 per cent compared to 13 per cent.

Those living in the country spend less time commuting, a smaller percentage of their income on housing, and are more likely to know the names of their neighbours than city dwellers.

Ben Poynter, CEO of Yopa, said: “People often ask themselves whether they should live close to work or move out of town for more space and a better quality of life. But, with so many factors to consider, people often give up before they even start.

"Help is at hand, Yopa, working with its local agents, have launched The Commuter Guide 2019 which helps homeowners easily compare different areas by the metrics that are important to them.”

Interestingly, the over-60s place more value on fresh air and nature than younger generations, with nearly 78 per cent saying country air is essential to their peace of mind, compared to just 58 per cent of 16-to-29-year-olds.

77 per cent said the proximity to nature is a positive to country living, compared to just 50 per cent of the younger generation.