But DEFRA's sustainable development indicators also show that all regions saw a rise in households in temporary accommodation and the proportion of people who rate access to health services as difficult.
People's satisfaction with their area was highest in the South West and South East but dropped the most in the East Midlands. The North East saw a big rise in life expectancy, taking it close to the national average.
Local environmental quality was judged best in the West Midlands and worst in London.
Regional Sustainable Development Indicators 2005 can be viewed via www.PlanningResource.co.uk.