This is why levels of personal wellbeing in Chichester are so high

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Residents in Chichester have persistently reported particularly high levels of personal wellbeing over the last seven years, according to new analysis.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that, since 2012, the district has been among the top 10 per cent in the UK for recording consistently high levels of wellbeing.

Specifically, Chichester scored highly when it came to average life satisfaction and residents feeling as though the things they did in life were worthwhile.

A report released yesterday, which highlighted the annual findings, used Chichester as a case study to explore how well-being differs in each area and how this may be related to the range of local circumstances.

It used the Thriving Place Index to help investigate this and found four areas in which Chichester scored particularly highly.

One of these was the place and environment category, in which Chichester scored 5.82 out of 10. It also scored of 6.89 out of 10 when it came to safety.

According to the report, the area has lower than average crime severity scores which ‘may further the average life satisfaction of residents’.

For the year ending March 2019, Chichester has a crime severity score of eight – while the average for England and Wales is 14.1.

“A number of studies have found fear or worry about crime can have a real impact on personal well-being, regardless of whether the individual actually experiences crime themselves,” the report stated.

“A lower level of local crime and lower crime severity is likely to enhance the well-being of residents.”

Chichester scored 6.93 out of 10 in the mental and physical health category.

The report stated that the area has a lower than average prevalence of obesity among children aged 10 to 11 years (school year 6), according to the National Child Measurement Programme.

Just 13.6 per cent of children within this age group met this criterion for the 2017 to 2018 academic year, compared to the England average of 20.1 per cent for the same period.

Chichester also had a larger average percentage of physically active adults.

In the year ending March 2018, an average of 71.4 per cent of adults in Chichester were regularly engaging in physical activity, which was ‘significantly higher’ than the average for England of 66.3 per cent.

The report stated: “These examples of above average physical health and healthy lifestyles in Chichester may contribute to greater life satisfaction, as previous analysis has indicated poor health has among the most detrimental impacts on personal well-being, and better health is related to higher well-being.”

In terms of the work and local economy category, Chichester recorded a score of 6.33 out of 10. It also scored 5.12 out of 10 for employment.

Data from the Annual Population Survey showed that the employment rate in Chichester for the period between April 2018 and March 2019 was at 85.2 per cent – ‘significantly higher’ than the same measure across the same period for Great Britain, at 75.4 per cent.

“This comparatively high employment status could be linked to its high scores for life satisfaction and feeling that the things done in life are worthwhile,” the report said.

When it came to the category of people and community, the area scored 5.38 out of 10.

It also scored highly in the participation subset of this domain (7.14 out of 10) – which the report said was exemplified by its high turnout at the 2017 general election.

This local authority recorded a voter turnout of 70.5 per cent at the most recent general election, compared with the UK figure of 68.8 per cent, ‘potentially indicating a higher than average political engagement among residents’, said the report.

To read the report in full, click here.

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