The happiest places in the UK have been named - and one part of Essex made the top five.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has been monitoring levels of happiness throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

Thurrock has been ranked joint third in the country for being one of the happiest places.

The day before the lockdown was introduced, people's happiness was rated in England and Wales at an average of 7.2 out of 10.

After the pandemic hit, the average dropped to 6.4 last year during the first week of lockdown in March.

Since then, the levels of happiness have mirrored the strictness of restrictions.

In July 2020, on average, people rated their happiness at 7.1 out of 10 before it dropped back down to 6.4 in January.

Using this rating system, Thurrock has been ranked in the top 5 places of happiness.

The district is tied in third place with an average happiness score of 7.2, the same as the Isle of Wight, Rushcliffe in Nottinghamshire, South Holland in Lincolnshire, Mid Sussex and Winchester in Hampshire.

The happiest place in the country is Hambleton in North Yorkshire with a score of 7.4, and second place is Ashford in Kent along with Newark and Sherwood in Nottinghamshire and Daventry in Northamptonshire.

Brentwood was the next happiest place in Essex finishing in fifth. 

Maldon and Southend ranked in sixth on thge table alongside 30 other places in the country. 

Braintree and Chelmsford came seventh while Colchester and Uttlesford ranked in eighth. 

Basildon and Tendring finished in ninth in the list while Harlow was tenth. 

Castle Point came 11th on the list but it made the area the least happy place in the county along with 37 other places in the country.