If you want to boost your chances of happiness, you could do worse than moving to the West of England, getting hitched and starting a family, according to the latest government study.
The "happiness index" survey, carried out by the Office for National Statistics, asked 8,000 adults to rate their happiness and life satisfaction with a score from 0 to 10.
Despite the pressures of the current economic climate, it would seem Brits are a pretty happy bunch with more than 75% of those surveyed scoring seven out of 10 for life satisfaction.
Relationships played a key role in this contentment. Married people had the highest levels of satisfaction (7.7), followed by those who cohabit (7.5) then singles (7.3) and the widowed (6.8) with divorcees being the least satisfied with their lot (6.6).
The study, which aims to measure the nation's happiness levels and life satisfaction, is part of the government's Measuring National Wellbeing programme.
Participants were asked: How satisfied with your life are you nowadays? To what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile? How happy did you feel yesterday? How anxious did you feel yesterday?
Families, the young and pensioners also came out top in the happiness stakes but ethnic minorities fared less well, raising important issues for the government to address.
Those from ethnic minorities were less satisfied with their lives than while people with black people scoring an average 6.6 out of 10 for life satisfaction compared to white people.
The Measuring National Wellbeing programme was launched in November 2010. The latest figures represent the period from April to September 2011 but the final results will be published in July.
Happiness levels below the national average? Give them a boost with these scientifically proven mood-enhancing foods...
Bananas contain the magic ingredient, tryptophan - an amino acid the body uses to create the feel-good hormone, serotonin. They are also rich in vitamin B6, which keeps blood sugar levels (read: stress levels) on an even keel.
Tomato skins contain lycopene, a phytonutrient that stops the build up of pro-inflammatory compounds linked to depression. Cherry tomatoes contain more lycopene because they have a higher ratio of skin to flesh.
Leafy green vegetables such as curly kale are high in folate (folic acid), low levels of which have been linked to depression in numerous studies.
That mouth-burning sensation you get when you eat spicy food is giving you a natural high. According to research, the brain releases endorphins to defend itself against capsicin, the chemical that causes the fiery sensation synonymous with chillies.
Like bananas, cheese also contains the mood-enhancing tryptophan. It's high calcium content can also have a knock-on effect on our mood as it helps with the manufacture of sleep-regulating hormone, calcium - and we all know how moody we feel when we don't get enough shut-eye.
Researchers from the University of Connecticut's Human Performance Laboratory found that even mild dehydration alters a person's mood, energy levels and mental function.
There is scientific evidence behind the high we get when we indulge in chocolate. It releases endorphins and boosts serotonin levels.