IT'S official - living in Worcester makes people happy.

A new survey, which gathered opinions from more than 30,000 people, ranks the faithful city the eighth happiest place to live in the UK.

Harrogate, in North Yorkshire, topped the poll, which asked people how they felt about factors including safety, recreational facilities and the friendliness of their neighbours.

Adrian Field, Worcester Business Improvement District manager, said the city could be happy for a range of reasons.

"The city is big enough to have everything you need, like big-name shops, but is also small enough to retain its character," he said.

"We also have successful independent shops alongside bigger names."

And he said the city could leap up the chart, which featured 110 locations and was compiled by estate agent Rightmove, in the coming 12 months.

"We need to build on what we've got, like the Hive, as well as new developments and facilities like the Worcester Arena," Mr Field said.

"It's a great place to live and work."

City MP Robin Walker also backed the survey's findings, calling the city "proper" and lauding the closeness of conurbation and countryside.

"This is fabulous news," he said.

"Worcester is a proper city, with countryside.

"The best way someone once summed it up to me was by saying 'our children are proud of their town'."

Worcester beat Three Counties rivals Gloucester, which was ranked at 49th and Hereford, in 68th place.

At the other end of the scale, east London came bottom in the happy stakes, followed by the south London borough of Croydon.

Dudley was the West Midlands' lowest-placed town, at 102nd.

Do you agree? Is Worcester a happy place to live? Or are the survey's findings wrong?

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