Property News

Edinburgh ‘best place to live’ in UK

Em Morley - December 5, 2015

The latest Quality of Life index from uSwitch.com has revealed that Edinburgh is the best place to live in the UK.

There was bad news however for inhabitants of Bradford, which was found to be the worst region. Scottish areas made the most substantial rises in the rankings.

Positive positioning

A low crime rate, affordable living costs, large average salaries and a quick broadband connection have all been factors in driving Edinburgh to the top position.

As a whole, the uSwitch survey looked at 138 local areas for 26 factors, including salaries, household income and the cost of living. Lifestyle factors, such as working hours and life expectancy, were also taken into account to provide a solid picture of the quality of life in each region.

Edinburgh has seen a seismic rise to the top, rising 97 places since the last Index in 2013. The city has the lowest crime rate in the whole of Britain, low petrol and energy bills, average salaries of £29,588, disposable household income of £20,083 and average broadband speeds of 30Mbs.[1]

Scottish smiles

The Scottish capital was not the only region north of the border to see gains in its Quality of Life ranking, with the top seven ranking risers also from the country. In fact, 13 out of the 20 regions that saw the largest gains in their ranking were from Scotland. The largest rise was recorded in the region of Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire, which rose 102 places from 112th to 10th. [1]

However, England is home to 16 of the 20 biggest falling regions. Bradford and Hull are stuck to the bottom of the Index. According to data from the report, people in Bradford have the lowest gross disposable household income of £13,654 per year, yet pay one of the greatest average weekly rents of £92.60. Employment in the area is low at 65% and the life expectancy is lower than the national average. Additionally, the region has crowded primary schools and just 44% of pupils obtained five A-C grade GCSE’S at Key Stage 4.

Top-tens

Data from the UK Quality of Life Index 2015 indicates that the top-ten regions to live in are:

2015 ranking Region 2013 ranking Change in rank position since 2013
1 Edinburgh, City of, Eastern Scotland 98 +97
2 Solihull, West Midlands 1 -1
3 Hertfordshire, East of England 3 0
4 Northumberland, North East 8 +4
5 South Lanarkshire, South Western Scotland 60 +55
6 Berkshire, South East 9 +3
7 Darlington, North East 25 +18
8 North Lanarkshire, South Western Scotland 106 +98
9 York, Yorkshire and Humber 15 +6
10 Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire and Renfrewshire, South Western Scotland 112 +102

[1]

Edinburgh 'best place to live' in UK

Edinburgh ‘best place to live’ in UK

The bottom ten regions in the Index are:

2015 ranking NUTS3 region 2013 ranking Change in rank position since 2013
138 Bradford, Yorkshire and The Humber 95 -43
137 Kingston Upon Hull, City of, Yorkshire and The Humber 130 -7
136 North of Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland 68 -68
135 Eilean Siar (Western Isles), Highlands and Islands 120 -15
134 West and South of Northern Ireland 59 -75
133 Blackpool, North West 117 -16
132 Devon CC, South West 86 -46
131 Central Valleys, West Wales and The Valleys 121 -10
130 East of Northern Ireland 39 -91
129 South Teesside, North East 93 -36

[1]

Inspired

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, said, ‘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. Now it’s official-Edinburgh is the best place to live in the UK. With low crime rates, high wages and affordable living costs, it’s not just the history and cultural attractions that are drawing people to Scotland’s capital.’[1]

‘And while Edinburgh sits proudly at the top of the spire, Scotland as a whole is the star performer, with it’s 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,’ she continued.[1]

Differences

Robinson notes that, ‘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. We shouldn’t kid ourselves that it’s getting better for everyone out there. The reality is that millions of British households are still facing huge financial pressures, with wages barely covering higher living costs. And with talk of interest rates rising, any hope that those financial pressures might ease seems a forlorn one.’[1]

‘It’s more important than ever that households take an honest look at their household budgets and see if there are savings that can be made. Simply by switching energy suppliers on a regular basis, hundreds of pounds could be shaved off the annual bill. Our quality of life is important and even minor changes could have a positive impact on our standard of living,’ Robinson concluded.[1]

[1] http://www.propertyreporter.co.uk/property/best-and-worst-places-to-live-in-the-uk-revealed.html