Hexham residents have the highest levels of life satisfaction in the UK, according to the largest-ever poll into belonging in the UK has revealed. 

According to the survey, a significant 40% of residents reported their satisfaction with their lives is at an eight or higher out of 10.

The market town in Northumberland also reported some of the greatest levels of feeling strongly connected to their local area, with 75% of residents agreeing with the statement. Almost all (95%) also claiming that they feel safe walking round the parish. 

And, in a trend seen across the North East of England, Hexham’s residents also feel the most strongly connected to the United Kingdom (80%). The constituency is represented by Conservative MP and Minister for Roads and Local Transport Guy Opperman.

This compares to other areas in England such as Brighton and Bristol, where residents are amongst the least likely to feel strongly connected to the nation.

The research aims to examine social isolation and people’s sense of belonging in modern Britain, as well as inform a series of policies and initiatives which the Belonging Forum will campaign for, known as the Charter for Belonging.

Kim Samuel, Founder of the Belonging Forum and author of On Belonging: Finding Connection in an Age of Isolation, said:

“Our research – the first of its kind in the UK – has identified acute issues regarding loneliness and social isolation in communities across the UK.

“However, the research has also shown us which areas of the UK are experiencing the highest levels of life satisfaction, feel the most strongly connected to their local areas, and feel the safest in their town or city.

“As such, our Charter of Belonging will outline common sense and affordable ways to help people in the areas where life satisfaction is low. Our research shows that satisfaction is linked to connections with both people and places in their communities, as well as safe spaces in which to do so.

“We have already seen this in action in Hexham, where community interest groups and investment in place and heritage has had a great impact on happiness in the area.”

Hexham’s Mayor Derek Kennedy said, “Hexham has the strongest sense of community, and the Town Council has helped work to strengthen community ties, especially as we escaped the Covid lockdowns.

"We work together as a town and with the Hexham Community Partnership, Community Centre and places of entertainment.  It is a safe and welcoming place where people look out for one another.

"I feel very proud that Hexham is once again topping the UK list as the best community engagement. Loneliness and social isolation are terrible issues, and this town and its people care for one another.”