According to analysis of European data by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 71.8% of UK adults rated their life satisfaction as seven out of 10 or higher in 2011- compared to an EU-wide average of 69.3%.
Britain scored similarly for happiness to Germany (72.3%) and France (71.6%), but trailed well behind the most content nation, Denmark (91.0%). Citizens of Bulgaria were found to be the least satisfied, with just 38.3% giving a rating of seven out of 10 or higher.
The report suggested Britons have a weak attachment to their local community. Just 58.4% said they felt close to other people in their area, compared to an EU-wide average of 66.6%, making the UK the second lowest of all 28 nations.
The UK was also close to the bottom for how confident people are that they can get help in the event of a problem. When asked who would give them support if they needed advice about a serious personal or family matter, some 88.7% of UK respondents said they could count on help from family, friends, neighbours or someone else - the third lowest of all EU countries.
ONS researcher Ann Corp said: "The overall picture is we are not in the top few for any of them [the measures].
"We are near the bottom for a few and the rest are tending towards the middle."