Sunderland is the third richest city in the UK, according to new research.
Scientists have apparently developed a formula to calculate “true richness,” looking at which things play the greatest role in a leading a rich and fulfilled life – and they found money had little to do with it.
Two thousand people were interviewed about their attitudes towards life and contentment, coupled with factual information such as occupation, income, family status and hometown, with the results being mapped on a ‘richness scale’ of happiness and fulfilment.
And Sunderland came out third, behind Winchester in second place and Salisbury in first place.
Psychologist, broadcaster and best-selling author, Dr David Lewis, who calculated the formula, said: “Our research has revealed some fascinating insights into how rich people view their lives to be.
“We used mathematical modelling to find the ‘formula for true richness’, or in other words, what combination of attitudes towards life is found in the happiest people.
“During the interviews, 59 per cent of people said the best things in life are free, citing their families and happy memories as their most treasured possessions.”
Those working in fishing and forestry were found to lead richer lives than those in business and financial operations and people earning less than £35,000 a year actually outstripped high earners of up to £200,000 in terms of richness and fulfilment.
High on the Happiness Scale of Richness and Fulfilment are:
•People aged over 65
•Those living in Wales, the South East and Yorkshire
•Married couples with two children
•People earning between £20,000 and £34,999
•Fishermen and foresters
Low on the Happiness Scale of Richness and Fulfilment are:
•35 to 44-year-olds
•Those earning between £150,000 and £199,999
The UK’s top ten “richest” towns and cities:
8) St Albans
The research was commissioned by Anchor Cheddar as part of the food firm’s marketing activities.
Lucie Illingworth, senior brand manager at Anchor Cheddar, said: “We developed this formula to find out once and for all what the good stuff in life is.
“We don’t think that it’s always material possessions which make people the happiest and the British public agrees. We wanted to challenge how people view ‘richness’ as it is so integral to our brand values, given the unique, rich taste of our products.
“It’s interesting to see that it’s not just us, but science that shows that success and richness are no longer evaluated by the money in your pocket; it’s the little things in our everyday life such as memories and experiences that mean the most to us.
“It’s particularly telling that while many people constantly strive for perfection, it’s actually those who can enjoy imperfections and who accept their family as lovingly dysfunctional who lead the most rich and fulfilled lives, showing that it clearly pays off to appreciate what you have, rather than always aspire to more.”
What the formula revealed amongst Anchor Cheddar’s 2000 subjects:
•People who can enjoy the imperfections in life are the richest
•Those who completely embrace that their family is lovingly dysfunctional lead a richer life
•People who cherish mistakes are richer than meticulous planners
•Those who avoid confrontation have richer lives
•Those who believe that success is in the journey rather than the result have richer lives
•When it comes to money, either embrace it and make it the foundation for your happiness, or acknowledge that you won’t find happiness in it. Anything in between is detrimental to your emotional richness
•Richer individuals value memories over possessions