Survey Reveals What Makes Us Happy (Plus The Best Mood-Boosting Foods)

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...