South Cambridgeshire is the best rural area in Britain to live, survey shows

by Ray Clancy on April 18, 2011

South Cambridgeshire best place to live in UK

Anyone wanting to move to the UK and live in the countryside should move to South Cambridgeshire which has been names as the best place to live in terms of health, life expectancy, jobs, schools and climate.

The Great Britain Rural Areas Quality of Life survey from the Halifax, which tracks where living standards are highest by ranking local performance across key indicators covering the labour market, the housing market, the environment, education and health, found that southern England is generally the best place to live.

In south Cambridgeshire though, residents tend to be fit and well with 95% reporting general good health, have a higher than average life expectancy at 81.6 years, a high employment rate at 79% and many residents enjoying high incomes with weekly average earnings of £739.

The level of school qualifications is above the national average with 75% achieving five or more GCSE results grades A to C, just ahead of the national average of 74%. Residents also enjoy a relatively good climate with significantly less rainfall per year than the national average at 597 mm compared with 871 mm.

Over two thirds of the top rated 50 areas are in southern England. The South East rates highest with fifteen local rural areas placed in the top 50, followed by the East of England at 14 and the South West with seven, The remainder is split between nine in East Midlands, three in the West Midlands and two in Yorkshire and the Humber.

Rural areas in the North tend to receive high ratings on school exam results and environmental measures such as low population densities and low traffic flows.

Rural areas in the south of England typically perform better on average earnings, employment, health and weather.

The report also showed that employment is highest in Ryedale in North Yorkshire and in the Shetlands, both with 86%, followed by the Orkney Islands at 83.4% and Forest Heath at 82.3%. Average earnings are highest in Chiltern, £833 per week, followed by East Hertfordshire, £824, and Waverley in Surrey and South Oxfordshire both at £822.

And the survey found that the lowest per household CO2 emissions are in Waveney, Tendring, Mid Bedfordshire and South Derbyshire. All three areas emit an average of 2.2 tonnes per household, compared with the national average of 2.5 tonnes.

The lowest population density in Britain is in the Western Isles and the Highlands, both have nine persons per square kilometer, and the lowest average annual rainfall, 552 mm, is in Maldon. Seven of the ten driest districts in Great Britain are in the East of England. While the sunniest place is the Isle of Wight where residents enjoy an average of 37.4 hours of sunshine a week.

Good health scores are highest in Isles of Scilly, South Oxfordshire, South Cambridgeshire, Chiltern and West Berkshire with 95% of households rating themselves in good or fairly good health. Seven out of the top ten areas on this measure are in the South East.

Life expectancy is highest in South Cambridgeshire, 82 years, followed by East Dorset and North Dorset, both 81 years.

Primary school class sizes are smallest in the Western Isles with 14 pupils, followed by Orkney Islands and Shetland Islands with 17. The best GCSE results in England are in the Isles of Scilly, Teesdale and Wear Valley in County Durham where respectively 91% and 84% of 15 to16 year olds achieved five or more GCSE results, grades A to C. In Scotland the highest results for 16 year olds gaining five ore more awards at SCQF level 4 are in Shetland Islands, 91%, and Orkney Islands 85%. In Wales, pupils in Powys had the best GCSE results at 67%.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jan Malloch October 5, 2011 at 7:08 pm

"If you want less traffic and less crime then the best place to move to is Scotland. The lowest traffic levels are in the Western Isles, the Highlands, Orkney and Shetland Islands, Argyle and Bute and Isles of Scilly" ………… When did the Isles of Scilly move to Scotland??

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