SNP Government increases happiness among Scots. How much? Well it depends on whose survey you read



The Office for National Statistics (September 2017) has average UK happiness up from74.8% to 75.1% and according to the Torygraph, they say this is a significant increase. The Torygraph were keen to associate this with Brexit. Certainly, if you look at the map below, several parts of England and Shetland were up 6%. Meanwhile as many others were down 6%. As you might expect us uncomplaining, stable Scots were by contrast mostly only up or down by only 2% except for the Western Isles. The latter seems to contradict a recent survey suggesting they were amongst the best places to live in the UK.

However, The Bank of Scotland’s Annual Happiness Index (October 2017), according to the Scotsman has Scots happiness ‘soaring’ by 8% on average and suggests, for example:

‘Overall, this year’s findings show that people north of the Border are 12 per cent happier than when the survey began in 2015. Those in the Central Scotland area are almost 50 per cent more happy than they were last year.’

50% happier? Whit? Hard to believe there’s not something wrong in the survey methodology. Or have the local authorities been doping the water supply?

The report carried out online by YouGov concludes:

‘Overall, happiness in Scotland has never been higher, with the index showing growth every year since 2015, and increasing by 8 per cent in the last year alone.’

Returning to the ONS increase of 0.7% and comparing it with the YouGov increase of 8%, they seem quite different to me. No doubt the statisticians will tell us it’s complicated.

Either way it correlates with years of SNP government, bus passes and baby boxes, so that must be it.

Footnote: The Hootsman doesn’t actually credit the SNP but the government of the day gets the blame or the credit for anything usually on their pages.

Footnote 2: in 2014, Wilderness Scotland claimed walking was making us happier but I doubt we’re all walking more.

8 thoughts on “SNP Government increases happiness among Scots. How much? Well it depends on whose survey you read

  1. Brian October 3, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    Don’t worry . . .


  2. Ludo Thierry October 3, 2017 / 7:44 pm

    Hi John – Hi Brian. I keep bashing on about Scottish exports – but from what i hear on the MSM news maybe the Tory Conference in Manchester might want to import some of our ‘happiness’ right now? From all accounts they seem a trifle upset and out of sorts for a party of govt. I suppose that’s what happens when your PM calls an unnecessary General Election and you lose a working majority and end up yoked to the DUP with a £1.5billion bung to pay! (and the Brexit mess still to be sorted).

    I don’t know all the ins and outs around Barnett consequentials but I strongly suspect the ‘UK’ spending announcements re. 1st time buyers assistance and Student Loan funding will – eventually – work its way into a small (but handy) chunk of Barnett consequentials for Scotland (where it can be put to much better use I’m sure). Haven’t noticed any other spending pledges today – but any further loosening of the austerity purse strings (other than military expenditure or tax cuts for the wealthy) will be welcomed. (Oh – there was something about £300M for ‘Northern’ railways – haven’t seen any details but maybe will result in a wee bit more flexibility in spending arrangements for the SNP Scottish Govt. if some consequentials dribble through from it).

    Small stuff I know – but important nonetheless.

    Can the Tories really (?) be lining up their potential successors to Theresa’s throne as: 1. Joggin’ Boris, 2. Phil Hammond, 3. The Hon. Member for the 18th Century Jacob’s Crackers (Remember when he contested a Scottish seat – his first venture into electoral politics I believe – and arrived for the campaign with his Nanny in tow – I’m not making this up), and 4. Col. Davidson.

    Thinking about it – no wonder the whole Conference venue has – as has been suggested – the air of a protracted wake for an elderly relative. Strange folks them Tories.

    Cheers, ludo


  3. Ludo Thierry October 4, 2017 / 8:38 pm

    Hi John – even you must try and see the short edit of St. Theresa’s speech today – It was a classic. The comedian handing her the P.45 saying “it’s from Boris” was simply sublime. The bit where Amber Rudd ‘instructs’ Boris to stand and applaud as the cabinet try to ‘cover’ poor Theresa’s voice problems/coughing is also a beaut. (Is there some ‘secret’ alliance in operation between those two?).

    On the policy front there seems to be some dosh on the way for council housing in England – With all the usual caveats re. the operation of Barnett consequentials, this must be a piece (albeit a small piece) of good news all round. (God knows what schemes for austerity Hammond will be cooking up in the Budget to row-back on some otf the austerity ‘loosening’ they have been forced into during their disaster of a conference.)

    Cheers, ludo


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