Happiness living in London

The London Intelligence – Snapshot of Londoners – Spring 2022

Happiness living in London


Fewer than 6 in 10 Londoners are happy living in the capital

There has been a decrease in the proportion of Londoners who said they were happy living in the city since this time last year, with those saying they are ‘very happy’ down by 6 percentage points in this time, and people more likely to report feeling neither happy nor unhappy. The rise in unhappiness in London is likely to be linked to the cost of living crisis – more households said they struggled to make ends meet in the city, and didn’t have enough money to spend on the things they enjoy. 

Generally, people of working age tend to have lower levels of happiness and life satisfaction than younger people or older people, and this was the case here. The youngest age group (16-24) and the oldest (65+) were the groups most likely to report being ‘very happy’ in London, although the proportion of people aged 65+ saying this dropped from 34 per cent to 25 per cent since June 2021. Londoners aged 35-44 year were most likely to be unhappy or very unhappy living in London, and their unhappiness has also increased over time. 

As would be expected, financial stability was linked to higher levels of happiness living here: Londoners were more likely to be happy living in the city if they owned a home and were employed full time. Over each wave of data, there has been approximately a 10-percentage point difference between happiness in the AB socio-economic groups and the DE socio-economic group who are happy living here.  

Some groups have seen a larger drop in happiness living in London: this is the case of tenants, who have seen a drop from 60 per cent to 53 per cent. Happiness among self-employed Londoners has also taken a hit, probably due to the lingering impact of the pandemic on their personal finances.