If you're happy and you know it, chances are you live in west Dorset.

New figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) reveal people in the area are happier than they were a year ago.

The annual ONS survey asked people aged 16 and over across the UK to rate four areas of their personal wellbeing.

Three of the areas; happiness, life satisfaction and sense of the things they do in life being worthwhile, are ranked on a scale from zero to 10, with 10 being the highest.

Overall, 81 per cent of people in west Dorset ranked their happiness between seven and 10 - meaning either high or very high - compared to 75.4 per cent in the UK, with an average happiness score of 7.73, above the national average of 7.52.

The figures come as no surprise to locals.

When asked what makes her happy, Josephine Caldwell, from Bridport, said: "What makes me happy is living near the sea. It's lovely round here and I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. "My granddaughter loves London, and I said I'd rather sit in a field.

"What is great is the council work hard to keep West Bay beautiful and spotless."

The location is also important to Jennie, who said: "It's such a lovely area to live in. It's friendly and there is so much going on. The sea is on our doorstep and we are very lucky."

When asked whether anything negative impacted her wellbeing, she replied: "We're just really, really lucky where we live and how well we are provided for, with all the amenities around here."

Ian Williamson said: "I've lived in the area for a long time, and it's remained relatively unchanged by increasing things, such as population. Crime has remained relatively low and its naturally unchanged. It's a pretty, nice traditional town.

"I've lived in lovely villages around here and generally speaking that's why I haven't moved."

Since the survey began in 2011-12, happiness in the UK had been increasing year-on-year, but has slowed in recent years.

People in west Dorset have reported feeling less happy as the years go by.

Despite an increase on happiness since 2016-17, the levels were higher in 2015-16.

According to ONS research, people's views about their health, employment and relationship status are the factors most likely to impact how they rate their personal wellbeing.

Josephine's husband, Paul, agreed that while it was a local place, he noted that seeing the area deteriorate over time has made him sad, with a cut in council funding for things such as road sweepers, bins being removed from his road, and things being allowed to overgrow.

Paul said: "I've watched it gradually deteriorate, with things hanging over the path, and nobody picking up after them.

"It's a lovely place but it's really deteriorated, and the roundabouts are a disgrace."

Poor mental health was the most significant factor associated with reports of poor wellbeing, followed by being economically inactive with a long-term illness or disability.

The single happiest place in the UK was Rushmoor in Hampshire, with a score of 8.35, with Northern Ireland coming out top in the well-being survey.