Good news for people living in the Harborough district: you are living in one of the happiest, healthiest places in England.
And the result is something we’re calling the Harborough bonus – an extra year of life on planet Earth for men and almost two years for the district’s women!
The news comes in Public Health England’s annual report for Harborough district, one of a series of reports that cover the whole country.
The document, published last week, reveals that social deprivation in Harborough is equal lowest in England, violent crime rates are less than half the national average and long-term unemployment is among the lowest in the country.
The 86,000 population of our district, which takes in Harborough, Lutterworth, Broughton Astley and nearly 90 villages, also contains fewer smokers than the national average and more physically active adults.
It also registers below-average rates when it comes to hospital stays for self-harm, alcohol-related harm, drug misuse and sexually transmitted infections.
The result, perhaps, of all this is that Harborough people live at least a year longer than the English average.
Life expectancy in the district is 80.3 years for men and 84.8 years for women, compared with national life expectancy rates of 79.2 for men and 83 for women.
But there are two blots in the healthy Harborough copybook. We have more overweight adults than the national average and significantly higher rates of malignant melanoma.
The Harborough district scores are all contained in the latest Health Profile 2014, produced by Public Health England.
Mike Sandys, the director of public health for Leicestershire County Council, said: “Clearly there’s lots of good news in the Harborough district profile.
“Harborough is a good and healthy place to live.
“I’m particularly encouraged by obesity rates in Year 6 children in Harborough, which is among the lowest in the country, and the percentage of adults that are physically active which is well above average.”
He confirmed that the number of overweight adults and malignant melanomas in particular were causes for concern.
“But despite these problems, Harborough’s health Profile is broadly optimistic.
The report sums up: “The health of people in Harborough is generally better than the English average.”