It’s official: Croydon is the most miserable part of London

It’s official: Croydon is the most miserable part of London.

Nothing to cheer about: the council's £140m new office building

Nothing to cheer about: the council’s £140m new office building

So much for the view through rose-tinted glasses of the self-appointed “Glee Club”, who choose to ignore the area’s many short-comings, or the dissembling work of PR agency Grey Label and their mates on the council, or the guileless propaganda of Gary Barlow MP and the “Sage” of Selsdon, who all claim it is sweetness and light in our borough, where there are pots of gold at the end of rainbows and everything is just tickety-boo.

To borrow from that Penguin Classic author Morrissey, Heaven knows, we’re miserable now.

And don’t take Inside Croydon’s word for it: the miserableness of Croydon has been determined by the “happiness index” commissioned by Prime Minister David Cameron.

According to the Office for National Statistics, London overall is among the lowest ranked towns and cities in Britain for “life satisfaction”, with Londoners giving an average score of just 7.2 out of 10.

And within our city, Croydon has the lowest rating of all boroughs, scoring just 7.0. The London boroughs with the “happiest” ratings were swanky Kensington and Chelsea on 7.68 and our next-door neighbours Bromley on 7.73.

According to the ONS survey, Londoners are also among the worst in the country for high levels of anxiety.

Today’s edition of the Evening Boris says, “Statisticians said the low levels of well-being in inner London stood out because most of the other ‘unhappy’ areas were in less wealthy parts of the North-East and North-West with low disposable income and life expectancy.” And those inner London areas have a better sense of well-being than we do in Croydon.

But maybe the people of Croydon and London have plenty to be miserable about: overall, the city has the greatest inequality of income in Britain, the highest crime rates and the lowest proportion of people aged over 65 (who tend to be associated with relatively high levels of contentment).

We can fully expect the lacklustre rag, the Croydon Sadvertiser, to take great umbrage over the outcome of the ONS’s polling, and in a week or so publish a four-page picture special of people kissing babies and school children smiling on the command of the photographer, all somehow to “disprove” the statistical findings and demonstrate what a thoroughly cheery place Croydon truly is. They will probably run a very defensive, self-fulfilling poll of their own, using inappropriate capitals for unnecessary emphasis: “Do YOU think Croydon is a happy town?”

Of course, that would all carry a good deal more weight had that same newspaper not got so miserable about Croydon that they moved their sports desk operation to Tunbridge Wells, their subs desk to Essex and their editorial offices to Dorking…

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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10 Responses to It’s official: Croydon is the most miserable part of London

  1. Dear oh Lordy, I thought it was just me!

  2. davidcallam says:

    This survey is twaddle.

    Who did it ask?

    What did it ask?

    Of course Croydon has its faults. And I hate the propaganda emanating from the borough’s Establishment as much as the editor of Inside Croydon.

    But don’t let the inanities of the Glee Club send you in the opposite direction. Croydon has lots of problems, but it also has the talent to solve them.

    • Who did it ask? People in Croydon.

      What did it ask? “How happy are you?”

      Another genius initiative from a posh boy who doesn’t know the price of milk. The amusing thing is how deeply damaging this survey is to the deceiving narrative that Gavin Barwell and his Establishment clique has being trying to foist on the world about Croydon.

      Rest assured, David, our critique is always of the manner in which Croydon is mishandled, the council mismanaged. The Ostrich position of the Glee Club and the council’s other craven cronies will never begin to address the genuine problems that our borough faces.

  3. People happier in Kensington & Chelsea and in Bromley… really, who’d have thought it …. come on give me a break. If the average for London is 7.2 then Croydon at 7 is not far from it. You could take the same survey in a few weeks time and I bet Croydon would not be bottom. So please let’s not use this pointless survey to bash Croydon.

    • Ahhh, this is what we would call: “The Glee Club response” – bad news about Croydon, so ignore it.

      It reminds us of the evening of the riots, when members of the Glee Club were having a squiffy Twit Up, or dinner club, or some such. And when news reports of what was happening on London Road made it as far as Purley they proclaimed, in all seriousness, that it was all untrue.

      The whole idea behind the “Happiness Index” is a crock of shit, on that we agree. But then it is a David Cameron initiative, so what would you expect?

      • And your response is typical of the Condemning Croydon Society (at any cost). You openly and eloquently admit it is worthless survey yet you decided to sensationalise it to get a headline. Nice one.

        • So a government survey, based on a flaky premise and intended to show how we are all cheery and whistling on our way to work, comes up with a result that does not fit the Glee Club narrative to which you subscribe.

          We report the survey’s findings.

          This discomforts you. And you resort to unfounded accusations of sensationalising.

          Thanks for making our case for us, Baldrick. You must be part of some cunning plan.

  4. catswiskas says:

    What’s wrong with being miserable anyway? I like it. Better than being smug.

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