New council survey shows Edinburgh to be one of the happiest places in the UK

A recent study done by the City of Edinburgh council has revealed that 94  per cent of people living in Edinburgh are happy to call the city their home.

According to the Council, this figure is one of the highest recorded across the UK.

The results indicate that 89 per cent of residents are satisfied with their neighbourhood and 85 per cent of individuals feel safe after dark.

Positive perceptions of diversity and inclusivity have risen considerably in recent years, with 86 per cent of people living in Edinburgh having a welcoming attitude toward multiculturalism in their neighbourhood. In 2014, 81 per cent of people were content about living with people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Regarding council management, two-thirds of those surveyed expressed satisfaction, which is a rise from the record low 35 per cent recorded in 2009, when the tram building project was taking place.

Councillor Andrew Burns stated in The Scotsman: “There is a lot to be pleased about in this year’s Edinburgh People Survey results – despite an increasingly challenging financial climate and demand for services we continue to see a high level of satisfaction with life in the Capital.

“People feel safe, welcome and included in their local communities, regardless of their background, which certainly adds to the quality of life here.”

The Student spoke to students from the University of Edinburgh to hear their opinions on Edinburgh as a city to reside in.

Amy Hammond, a first-year Law student from Glasgow, said: “Edinburgh itself is just a beautiful city. There is such a great atmosphere to it and it is really accommodating to students. I feel more safe in Edinburgh than Glasgow; the weather is also far better. The people are all really nice and there is hardly any crime. A lot of places do student discounts as well.”

Sarah O’Harah, a first-year Philosophy and English student from Liverpool, was slightly more critical, claiming: “Edinburgh has a lot going on as a capital city, but it still has the friendliness of a small town. The nightlife isn’t as good for students compared to Liverpool and the people aren’t quite as welcoming. I like that the city is compact and you can walk everywhere. However, prices – especially rent – are far too high.”

The survey reveals that only nine per cent more people believe that their financial circumstances are improving rather than worsening, one of the less impressive statistics in the report.

However, in terms of outdoor areas, 81 per cent of those surveyed conveyed high satisfaction with parks and green spaces.

Joe Kay, a third-year Politics student from Leeds, told The Student: “There is less grit and grime in Edinburgh than Leeds. The parks, in particular Arthur’s Seat, is really incredible.”

Frank Ross, deputy leader of the City of Edinburgh Council told The Scotsman: “Every year the Edinburgh People Survey gives us an insight into what the public feel we are doing right, and the things they want us to do better.

“It’s great to see such high satisfaction this year with services like public transport, parks and our calendar of cultural events, but we also acknowledge the areas that scored lower, and intend to act on these concerns.”

Image: Moyan Brenn

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The Student Newspaper 2016