Edinburgh tops new UK quality of life index

by Ray Clancy on October 22, 2015

Edinburgh is the best place to live in the UK, having jumped from 98 to top the latest annual quality of life index to be published in Britain.

Bradford is the worst, and Scotland is fast becoming the region to live in with Scottish locations making the biggest gain in rankings, according to the latest index from price comparison and switching service uSwitch.

scotlandWELCOMELow crime rates, affordable living costs, high average salaries and fast broadband all contribute to Edinburgh’s position at the top of the study, which assessed 138 areas for 26 different factors including salaries, disposable household income and the cost of essential goods, such as fuel, food and energy bills, as well as lifestyle factors such as working hours, life expectancy and hours of sunshine.

The index report says that Edinburgh’s meteoric rise to the top is due to a number of factors. It has the lowest reported crime rate in the UK, cheap petrol and energy bills, high average salaries of £29,588 and disposable household income of £20,083, as well as fast average broadband download speeds of 30Mbs.

Edinburgh wasn’t the only Scottish region to see a huge gain in its ranking, as the top seven biggest ranking risers are in Scotland. Indeed, 13 of the 20 regions that saw the biggest gains in their rankings are located north of the border.

Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire saw the biggest ranking gain, rising 102 places from 112th to 10th place, thanks in part to some of the lowest household costs in the UK. And North Lanarkshire has seen its position climb 98 places since 2013.

Some 6 out of the 20 biggest falling regions are English, with Bradford and Hull, both in the Yorkshire and Humber region, at the foot of the index. According to the report, people in Bradford have amongst the lowest gross disposable household incomes of £13,654 a year, yet pay one of the highest average weekly rents of £92.60.

In Bradford the employment rate is low at 65% and there is also a lower than average life expectancy at 77 years and seven months for men and 81 years and four months for women. To top it all, the area suffers from crowded primary schools and just 44% of pupils achieved five GCSEs at A-C grades, at Key Stage 4.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for Bradford residents. Low essential costs such as energy, food and council tax, together with cheaper house prices and higher than average broadband speeds.

West London retains the title of Britain’s richest region with average full time salaries of £35,464 and an average annual gross disposable household income of £39,602, more than three times higher than disposable household incomes in Leicester at £11,739 and Nottingham at £11,757.

Liverpool has the lowest employment rate of any region in the UK at 59%, compared to 89% in the Orkney Islands and 82% in central Bedfordshire. Meanwhile, West London is the hardest working region in the country, with 41% working 45 hours a week or more, compared to 15% of those living in the Orkney Islands.

“Edinburgh has long been a city that’s inspired; a vibrant city with striking architecture and a world famous festival, all surrounded by stunning scenery. Scotland as a whole is the star performer, with its regions easily making the biggest climbs in the ranks this year. Contrast that with the biggest fallers in the rankings, the majority of which are regions in England,” said Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch. “What this report reveals is the vast differences in the quality of life that many people across the UK are experiencing. Despite a buoyant UK economy, millions of people in this country aren’t feeling the benefits. The reality is that millions of British households are still facing huge financial pressures, with wages barely covering higher living costs.”

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Uday Bagdas December 23, 2016 at 4:36 pm

I am Indian nationality married with Romanian citizen. I have marriage certificate from Romania Government and residence permit card for five years . Do I need visa to go UK.

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