Bedford is not an unfriendly place - but it could do better

Bedford's Butterfly Bridge
Bedford's Butterfly Bridge

Maps showing where the most miserable people in the country live have reavealed what we have known all along - Bedfordshire is a fairly friendly place to live - but we could do well to cheer up a bit.

Findings from a study announced today show the East of England is among the most “agreeable” regions along with parts of Scotland, the North and South West.

Map of the most agreeable places in Great Britain

Map of the most agreeable places in Great Britain

Agreeable reflects traits such as cooperation, friendliness and trust, which out of 380 areas sampled left Central Bedfordshire coming 292th and Bedford as 306th.

While we are languishing towards the bottom of the table (which shows the least friendly places are The City of London and Kensington and Chelsea), we can rest assured we are not the among the most “uncooperative, quarrelsome, and irritable” residents.

The most agreeable place is the Isles of Scilly.

The Cambridge University study was carried out in partnership with the BBC to research how geography relates to people’s psychology. It used a sample of nearly 400,000 British residents and tested the Big Five personality traits, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism and Openness.

It was carried out to research how geography relates to people’s psychology.

Significantly, low levels of Openness emerged throughout most of the East Midlands and East of England, suggesting that large proportions of residents of these areas were conventional, downto-earth, and traditional.

Dr Jason Rentfrow from the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow at Fitzwilliam College said: “Understanding how personality traits differ by region is more than just ‘a bit of fun’.

“Geographical differences are associated with a range of economic, social and health outcomes – and hence how important resources are allocated. Although participants in an online test are self-selecting, the demographic characteristics are representative of the British population, so we can develop an accurate snapshot of the psychology of the nation.”

Are you living in the right place? Take the online test here