People in the Vale ‘less happy’ than before Covid-19 pandemic

PEOPLE in the Vale of Glamorgan are feeling less and less satisfied with their lives following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, new figures show.

Across the UK, happiness levels recovered from a pandemic dip in 2020-21, but remained down on 2019-20, with Mental Health UK warning that successive lockdowns and now the cost-of-living crisis have disrupted people’s happiness.

Office for National Statistics figures show the average person in the Vale of Glamorgan answered the question “how satisfied are you with your life nowadays?” at 7.5 out of 10 in the year to March, where one is “not at all” and 10 is “completely”.

This is down from 7.6 the year before and continues the consistent fall throughout the pandemic period, with satisfaction levels at 7.8 in 2019-20.

Across the UK, satisfaction levels have rebounded in the last year, though have still not recovered following the pandemic, sitting at 7.5, up from 7.4 in 2020-21 but below 7.7 in the year to March 2020.

Mental Health UK said it is encouraging to see people’s wellbeing start to improve across the country after the “seismic shocks of the pandemic”, but warned that more must still be done to combat poor wellbeing in society, especially during the soaring cost of living.

Brian Dow, chief executive of the charity, said: “It is clear we have not rebounded back to where we were and the pressures of the cost-of-living crisis should serve as a reminder of the range of factors that influence our wellbeing, and reinforce that mental health needs to remain a consistent priority that doesn’t just come into the spotlight during a national emergency.

“While so much in life can feel out of our control, it is also vital that people know the signs of poor mental health and are supported to help prioritise their wellbeing if they’re struggling, with access to professional support if they need it.”

Happiness levels were also up nationally – from 7.3 to 7.5 – while people generally felt less anxious, with the average rating falling from 3.3 to 3.1.

In the Vale of Glamorgan, the average person was happier in 2021-22 than the year previous, with happiness ratings rising from 7.4 to 7.7.

Meanwhile, anxiety levels fell from 3 to 2.9.

Feelings that things in life are worthwhile also increased across the country, though still remain below pre-pandemic levels.

People living in the Vale of Glamorgan rated their life as worthwhile at 7.9 out of 10 – below 8.1 in 2019-20.

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