WE’RE happy and we know it – well, if you live in Hampshire that is.

According to official Government statistics those living in the county are more satisfied with life that those in the cities of Southampton and Portsmouth.

But in the happiness league table Southampton did score higher than its south coast rival on three of the four markers used by the Government to measure people’s well-being.

David Cameron’s so-called happiness index, which cost £2m to compile, interviewed 200,000 people aged 16 and over between April 2011 and March 2012.

The average Southampton resident rated their ‘life satisfaction’ at 7.45 out of 10, compared to 7.38 in Portsmouth and 7.56 in Hampshire. The UK average was 7.41.

Almost a quarter of Southampton people, and a fifth of people living in Hampshire, gave happiness ratings between zero and six.

The coalition wants to assess the wellbeing of the nation, as well its economic prosperity, and it could be used to shape future Government policy.

Labour branded the exercise a waste of money and a “statement of the bleeding obvious.”

People were asked four key questions: How satisfied they were with life, how worthwhile they thought their life was, how happy they had been yesterday, and how anxious they had been yesterday, rating their feelings from zero to 10.

The highest average happiness rating was 8.10, in Orkney and Shetland, while Thurrock, in Essex, was bottom with 7.09.

People tended to be happiest when they were in their teenage years or around retirement age, and married people scored higher than those who were single, cohabiting or divorced.

Being a homeowner, having a job and being healthy were all more likely to evoke happy responses.

Women tended to have a greater sense of life satisfaction than men and that what they do is worthwhile, but also reported higher levels of anxiety.

On a scale of 0 to 10, overall, how satisfied are you with life?
Region: Av answer
Hampshire 7.56
Southampton 7.45
Portsmouth 7.38
UK 7.41

Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?
Hampshire 7.81
Southampton 7.62
Portsmouth 7.50
UK 7.66

Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?
Hampshire 7.40
Southampton 7.24
Portsmouth 7.22
UK 7.28

Overall, how anxious did you feel yesterday?
Southampton 3.12
Portsmouth 3.04
Hampshire 2.93
UK 3.14