Netherlands, Canada happiest with their local area

Mon May 31, 2010 2:51am EDT
 
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SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Residents of the Netherlands, Canada and Australia are the most satisfied with the areas where they live, according to a survey of 23 countries.

Market research company Ipsos asked about 23,000 people if they were satisfied with their local area and found that job prospects, clean streets and the level of crime and public transport were major factors in people's happiness.

"During a global economic crisis it is easy to forget that how people experience their local areas day-to-day has a huge impact on their quality of life," said Bobby Duffy, director of the Ipsos Social Research Institute, in a statement.

The people who were most satisfied with their local area were the Dutch with 85 percent of people living in the Netherlands happy with their neighborhood.

Canada came second with 83 percent satisfaction followed by Australia with 82 percent. India, Germany and the United States rounded out the top 6.

People living in South Korea were the most unhappy with their local area with only 34 percent satisfied. South Korean residents listed the three priorities for local area improvement as public transport, affordable housing and the level of pollution.

In Hungary only 45 percent were satisfied with their lot, 46 percent in Japan, and 48 percent in China where residents ranked pollution as their number one priority for improvement.

In Russia 49 percent of residents were satisfied with their local area with road repairs listed as the top priority.

In Britain activities for teenagers were listed as the number one issue that needed improvement in local areas while in Brazil health services were cited as key.

The survey was released as part of the launch of the Ipsos Social Research Institute, a new initiative at Ipsos.

(Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Michael Perry)

 
<p>A visitor to Capilano Park in North Vancouver, British Columbia takes in the view and warm weather February 20, 2010. REUTERS/Andy Clark</p>