Brent is happiest borough but unhealthy in other ways, according to data
- Credit: Brent Council
Brent has topped a chart as the happiest place to live in England - but not the healthiest.
The borough, which covers Wembley, Willesden, Harlesden, Stonebridge, Queen's Park, Kensal Green and Kilburn, achieved a score of 125.7 for happiness on the health index, which assesses the general health of all parts of England in an attempt to measure the effects of government policy on wellbeing.
That happiness rating is the joint highest score in England, alongside West Berkshire which also scored 125.7 and followed by Devon with 124.2 points.
It also came top for the category "healthy people" - measured in terms of mortality and mental health - with 113.5 points.
However, it was ranked 110 out of 149 with a score of 96.4 for "healthy lives", which is defined by psychological and behavioural risk factors, risks for children and unemployment.
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Brent also only scored 96.4 points for being a "healthy place", in terms of access to green space and housing, the local environment and crime, ranking the area only 135 out of 149.
Overall, it was given 103.1 points, putting it 40th out of 149 places assessed.
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The data is compiled by the Office for National Statistics in conjunction with financial services company Lane Clark and Peacock, with results taken from 2018 - the most recent year available.
Cllr Neil Nerva, Brent's lead for public health, culture and leisure, and Cllr Promise Knight , who heads community safety and engagement, said in a joint statement: "We’re thrilled that Brent’s been named the happiest place to live in England.
"The data backs up what we’ve always known – that the melting pot of cultures, community and opportunities that we call home makes Brent a wonderful, positive place to be."
They said the borough had been "boosted" as Borough of Culture 2020, saying Brent has "benefitted from regeneration of our town centres, more affordable housing, and new initiatives to make our green spaces even more enjoyable".
They added: "That said, we cannot overlook the tough year many families have had with their health and finances.
"Like many parts of the country, Covid-19 has exposed and deepened inequalities. It’s something we must address, together with our communities and partners."
In 2017, Brent was officially the unhappiest place to live in the UK, according to a survey by Rightmove.