London: Hart is where the heart is! Yes, the district of Hart in Hampshire has been ranked as the happiest place in UK in a survey comparing areas by quality of life.
Hart, which enjoys fast rail links to the capital, is a popular location for commuters. With average earnings of 841 pounds a week, its residents are 40 percent wealthier than a typical Briton, while local employment rates are among the highest in the country, according to the survey.
Despite its ageing population, 95 percent of residents report good or fairly good health, a figure borne out in its higher-than-average life expectancy -- 81.7 years for men, the annual study by Halifax has revealed.
In fact, a total of 42 of top 50 locations, are to be found in southern or eastern England in the survey.
Even the Midlands barely featured with only Wychavon, Worcs, and Rushcliffe, Notts, making the top 20. One country alone -- Surrey -- accounts for five of the top 20 areas and most of the remainder are to be found in neighbouring Kent, Hampshire, Berkshire and Hertfordshire.
The survey ranked all 405 local authority districts in the United Kingdom by employment levels, the state of the housing market, educational standards, health and crime rates, as reported.
Ken Crookes, the Tory leader of Hart District Council, said that the study starkly illustrated the economic dominance of the south east of England.
"It has been the economic powerhouse of the country -- not just central London but the South East -- for quite some time," he said.