MARRIED women in their mid-50s with two children living in Leeds are the happiest people in Britain, a new study claimed.

At the other end of the scale, the unhappiest people were divorced, childless, male computer workers from Southampton.

Research among 2,000 people from across Britain showed that women were generally happier than men, with housewives and mothers who stayed at home to look after their children top of the happiness league.

Petrol giant Jet, which conducted the survey for its loyalty card programme, called "smile", said one in five people were unhappy with their lives.

Leeds, Bristol and Glasgow were the cities where people smiled the most, while people in Plymouth, Edinburgh and London smiled the least.

Roy Roley, of Jet, said: "Our cashiers serve a cross section of the population at our service stations every day and while some customers will engage in friendly banter, others seem a little glum."