The Braintree district is the 115th most desirable place to live in the UK, according to the latest Halifax Quality of Life Survey.
The study takes into account factors such as jobs, housing, health, crime, weather, traffic and house prices across 405 local authority districts. The Braintree district dropped 37 places from 78th position last year.
Chamber of trade chairman, Anne-Maree Robertson, has lived in Halstead since 1972.
She said: “It is a shame the district has dropped so many places as I think it is a desirable place to live and community spirit draws people together at various times in the year to support events and each other.”
A Halifax spokesman said: "Residents of Braintree have an excellent quality of life based on our survey.
"Over three-quarters of adults are in employment, with weekly average earnings above the national average; Braintree has a crime rate that is half the national average and over 95 per cent of adults rate themselves in good health.
"However, average house prices are over six times average pre-tax annual earnings- so enjoying a good quality of life does come at cost."