The happiest place in Greater Manchester has been revealed and you need look no further than outside your hometown.

Yes, it is right here in Bolton. It is something most people already knew, with many visitors commenting on the warm and happy hospitality they receive, but now it is official.

The Office for National Statistics measurements place Bolton as the number one happy place in Greater Manchester.

From 2022 to 2023, Bolton’s average happiness scale was at 7.6, up 0.1 from the previous year (7.5).

Manchester itself ranked the lowest of all the boroughs, at just 6.8 on the happiness scale.

People in Bolton revealed what they thought of Bolton being the happiest place in Greater Manchester.

Janet and David Tregilgas said: "There are lovely people and everybody is really nice.

"It's close to the country and we are not far away from Belmont which is really nice.

"But the town has gone down a bit because all the shops have closed down.

"It was not as good as when we had shops like Woolworths and M&S all in the town centre and now we have got nothing."

While people said they loved the community spirit of the people in Bolton, some did not have good things to say about certain aspects of the town.

Tony Smedley said: "It is a nice place but there's too many empty buildings.

"Bury is more interesting than Bolton and I've been here all my life.

"During the day it's fine but at night people become savages at the pub.

"Once they actually fix the buildings up it could be fine and of course Northern people have got a sense of humour and can have a laugh."

Kirsty and Duncan Atherton said they also preferred Bury for shopping as Bolton had nothing to make them happy but their families.

Kirsty said: "I like the community but not the town itself.

"We do come into town but we go to Bury as well but it's like a ghost town here now.

"It's definitely not the happiest place in Greater Manchester."

Duncan agreed and said: "There are no shops or banks and just nothing here."

Jess Oakley and Courtney Gregory said they liked the events Bolton run such as the food and drink festival and Christmas activities.

Jess said: "There is nothing here for us but I have lived here all my life."

Courtney said: "I think it's our families because they are all here but the shopping is ridiculous.

"The events they do like the light shows and the food events when it comes together is good.

"It makes an effort for us all to come together but other than that, there is nothing here."

Cllr Nadeem Ayub, cabinet member for culture in the town, said: “It’s wonderful that Bolton has been named the happiest place in Greater Manchester, it’s an achievement in itself that the public voted this way.

The Bolton News: The report will be discussed at Bolton Town Hall Image: Newsquest

“It goes a long way to show Bolton has a lot of regeneration taking place.

“New investment and cultural events have been taking place here so it’s absolutely fantastic.”

Bolton Council's Christmas festivities this year included a display of the Northern Lights and festive baubles filled with lights illuminating the town as part of the "Put Big Light On" events.

The Moon exhibition is taking place the library and shows the moon in real time from space.

And recently, Bolton’s Food and Drink Festival was named as the best live event in Greater Manchester at the I love MCR awards.

Cllr Ayub said: “Events like the ‘Put Big Light On’ festival encourages people from all walks of life to enjoy things happening in the town.

“People are enjoying themselves especially in the cost of living crisis because these are free events, and it has a knock-on effect on business in the town.

“Bolton Council have put on good events, and we have also since been voted the best live event in the I love MCR awards.

“It shows how great Bolton is doing that people like it here and vote for it in awards.

“Bolton can put on a wonderful event and bring people together.”

In 2014, two lecturers at the University of Bolton, Professor of Psychology Jerome Carson and researcher Sandie McHugh replicated an old social experiment questionnaire on happiness and found that humour, leisure and more security were the "key to happiness" for people in Bolton and the North West at the time.

Since then, Ms McHugh said humour may still be a factor, as well as culture and religion.

She said: "In the book we wrote there is an article about humour by a journalist, and it explains that humour is something people in Bolton value.

"In 2019 we did a further study in focus groups and spoke to disadvantaged young women and refugees, and compared it.

"Good humour was very high for older people but for younger people it was equality they cared about."

Economy may not be a reason for Bolton's happiness anymore and Sandy also explained that recent events in the Middle East and Ukraine have started to affect people more too.

Sandy said: "I think culture is still a factor and because more people are religious, they tend to be happier.

"I think it's connectivity and maybe Bolton is a smaller place and has a smaller town atmosphere and so people feel more in place with that than in places like Manchester.

"There may be a transient population in Manchester whereas in Bolton while there are students, everyone is travelling or already living there."

Happiness is one of four measures of personal well-being.

Life satisfaction in Bolton was recorded as 7.5, life being worthwhile in Bolton was 7.9, and anxiety was 3.4.

In comparison to other Greater Manchester towns, these figures were still better, with Manchester recording 7.3 on the worthwhile chart.