Real Happiness

Living in Suffolk

Farm workers in the 1920s
Farm workers in the 1920s
In 2000 a snapshot of life in Suffolk called the State of Suffolk Profile was created. Its prime purpose was:

“To develop and maintain sustainable, healthy and thriving communities in Suffolk”.

Many of the areas that it covered are key to social sustainability.

The full State of Suffolk Profile is available at

Here are some of the findings
from the profile

  • Overall, the decline of many, but not all, essential local services in rural areas seems to be slowing down.
  • Rural post offices have continued to close (546 between 1997 and 2000); a rural post office is now more than a 2km walk for 1 in every 15 rural households.
  • Most rural settlements have neither a general store (78%) nor a small village shop (72%).
  • Rural pubs can make an important contribution to community vibrancy, but 53% of all rural settlements do not have a public house.
  • More village halls and meeting places are available; in 1997 72% of parishes had one compared to 85% in 2000.
  • Over 50% of all parishes have at least one youth club.
  • 9 out of 10 Suffolk residents are happy with their local area as a place to live.
  • Residents of Suffolk feel safer than those living in other similar local authority areas.
  • There is, however, concern as perceived crime is an issue, with 83% reporting being in fear of becoming a victim of crime in 1999, compared to 26% actually being victims of crime that year.
  • 22% of residents claimed that there were no bad things about their local area.

This exhibition is part of a wider sustainability project delivered through the Rural Museums East Partnership. It is funded by Renaissance East of England.

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