The saying: "Leave everything behind and head for the Bieszczady Mountains" makes more and more sense for it turns out that Podkarpacie, where Bieszczady are located, is now the happiest region in Poland. I recently spent a week there and I think I know where this phenomenon comes from.
Which region of Poland has the happiest residents? The answer to this question is to be found in Otodom's (a popular real estate website) latest report "Happy home. 2023 survey of well-being of Polish citizens". It shows that the happiest people live in the Podkarpacie region.
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2023 survey of well-being of Polish citizens
The report's authors, experts from SWPS (English: University of Social Sciences and Humanities), for the purpose of the analysis divided respondents into three groups on the basis of a series of questions on feelings of happiness they had to answer:
- happiness champions - people with the highest level of well-being,
- normal people - people with an average level of well-being,
- the unhappy - those with the lowest level of life satisfaction.
The report shows that the subjective declared sense of happiness of Polish residents in 2023 is 7.07 (on a 10-point scale). At the same time, only 12.9% of Polish inhabitants declare that they are maximally happy. The authors of the survey also note an interesting phenomenon. It turns out that there is very little correlation between the declared level of happiness in a voivodeship’s capital city and the average for the entire voivodeship.
A good example is Katowice, which came last on the list of cities with a score of 3.88. Meanwhile, the Silesian Voivodeship is close to the top of the happiest regions in Poland with a score of 4.15.
Podkarpacie: happiest region in the country
Are there any places in Poland where people in both the voivodship’s capital city and the entire voivodship live happily? At this point, it is worth recalling the saying "leave everything behind and head for the Bieszczady Mountains", as it is in the Podkarpackie voivodeship that the highest percentage of happiest people (more than 30%) has been recorded.
Natalia, a thirty-something woman living in Rzeszów, pointed out the advantages of Podkarpacie in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza. "I recharge my batteries in the Bieszczady Mountains or Beskid Niski. In terms of greenery and beautiful surroundings, our region stands out. It is green, clean. On the other hand, access to various services, medical care or communication with other regions is fine. In Rzeszów, everyone complains about traffic jams. But what are the traffic jams in Rzeszów compared to those in Warsaw or Krakow?" Natalia ponders.
"I have a loving family, a large house with a garden, and even though I'm now retired, my grandchildren don't let me get bored. How can I not be happy?" adds Halina Pieniążek, another Podkarpacie resident, in an interview with Gazeta Wyborcza.
This summer, I myself was in Przemyśl for my cousin's wedding. I decided that instead of driving the few hundred kilometres from Warsaw just for the wedding, I would spend some more time there. It turned out that I made the right decision, because a week in this historic city had a very positive impact on my mood. Lots of greenery, lack of the rush typical for big cities, interesting places to eat, and exceptionally polite local people. All this has made me more and more tempted to actually (not just jokingly) leave everything behind and head… by this time, you know where.
Source: Otodom, Gazeta Wyborcza