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Riverside view of the Great Ouse at Bedford, England

Bedford is the 73rd best place to live in the UK 2015

In terms of expected quality of life, we certainly have considerable diversity within the different cities and regions of England, Scotland, Wales and NI.

While the UK may look small, it is a place with a huge amount of variety, from major cities to rural areas, coastal towns and even remote islands! With every different place comes a unique social culture, and an individual economy and job market, and this makes everywhere different when it comes to quality of life. This can make it tough to know, if you are looking to move, what life will be like in a new part of the UK.

If you are currently looking to relocate, or you would just be interested to see how the place you live in now stacks up when compared to the rest of the UK, uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index is an interesting study that uses 2015 data to rank the 138 statistical regions of the United Kingdom from best to worst for general quality of life.

To calculate this index, we used data for all kinds of important things like employment rates and salaries, the cost of accommodation and other essentials, and also less economic factors like technology.

In addition to using this research to create a ranking for 2015, we have also compared our 2015 findings to our previous, similar study from 2013, to give an indication of places that have improved or deteriorated for quality of life in that two year period.

Bedford is a region that has lost places on uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, falling from 46 to 73 – a drop of 27 places. Here are some of the statistics for Bedford:

Employment

Bedford has high overall employment rates, with 79% of its inhabitants employed, but only 41% employed full time.

Income

Incomes are above average in Bedford with the gross weekly income of the average person there in 2015 at £493.70. Disposable income is also slightly above average with the average Bedford household having £17,465 available to spend for a year.

House Prices

House prices are on the high side, though not exceptionally so for the South of England. The average Bedford home sold for £205k in 2015. Rent is very high compared to average values at £84 per week.

Home values in Bedford

Life Expectancy

Life expectancies are just above UK wide average statistics at 80 for men and 84 for women.

Life expectancy is an influential factor that insurance companies use to determine life insurance premiums. You can check our advice guide on how to get a cheaper life insurance policy.

Living Costs

The cost of feeding your household in the Bedford region is very high, comparatively, at £60 per week for food and non alcoholic drinks. Car insurance is more costly than average too, at £525.20.

Even though, the insurance premiums are high, there are certain steps you can take to find the best car insurance deals for you.

Other Important Factors

Bedford has mediocre statistics for communication technology, with 91% mobile phone coverage, and broadband speeds averaging 26.1Mbps.

Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.

Bedford has a high cost of living, but also has some positives that offset this to some degree like good employment rates and incomes.

More to life than rankings

At uSwitch, we know that there is more to life than rankings, stats and figures, and our Qualify of Life Index merely highlights the vast differences in the experiences of people across the UK.

Whether you're living in the best city or the worst, millions of households in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland face financial struggles including rising energy bills and credit card debt. That's why it's more important than ever for households to assess their budgets, and uSwitch.com offers a great way to start.

Below you can find ways to save on everything from car insurance to mobile bills.

Compare energy

Compare broadband

Compare credit cards

Compare mortgages

Compare car insurance

Compare mobiles

Place to Live 2015 — Where did your region rank?

2015 Rank Region Rank Change from 2013
1 Edinburgh +97
2 Solihull -1
3 Hertfordshire No Change
4 Northumberland +4
5 South Lanarkshire +55
6 Berkshire +3
7 Darlington +18
8 North Lanarkshire +98
9 York +6
10 Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire & Renfrewshire +102
11 Surrey -6
12 South Nottinghamshire -8
13 Central Bedfordshire +18
14 Wirral +13
15 Outer London - South +3
16 Warwickshire -10
17 Bath & North East Somerset; North Somerset & South Gloucestershire +3
18 Hampshire -5
19 Orkney Islands +86
20 Cheshire East -8
21 Tyneside -7
22 West Cumbria +41
23 Derby +14
24 Cornwall & Isles of Scilly +42
25 East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire; Helensburgh & Lomond +59
26 North Yorkshire -24
27 Swindon -8
28 Coventry +36
29 Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire +46
30 Calerdale & Kirklees +12
31 Worcestshire +13
32 Warrington -4
33 Outer London North & West +22
34 Leicestershire & Rutland +6
35 Birmingham +38
36 Falkirk +75
37 Sunderland -11
38 East Lothian & Midlothian +90
39 Cambridgshire -9
40 Telford & Wrekin +1
41 Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees +14
42 Cheshire West -26
43 Durham -19
44 Buckinghamshire -33
45 Gwynedd +81
46 Bournemouth & Poole +34
47 Bristol +25
48 Sheffield -19
49 Walsall +41
50 West Northamptonshire +11
51 Glasgow +84
52 Flintshire & Wrexham +60
53 Oxfordshire -43
54 Scottish Borders +83
55 Gloucestershire -48
56 Sefton -8
57 Staffordshire -19
58 Conwy & Denbighshire +71
59 Plymouth +30
60 Greater Manchester North -11
61 [joint] Leeds -26
61 [joint] Perth & Kinross and Sterling +41
63 Southend-on-Sea +22
64 South & West Derbyshire -44
65 Portsmouth -14
66 Dorset -23
67 Peterborough +52
68 Essex -15
69 Shropshire -33
70 Medway -19
71 West Sussex -48
72 Swansea +37
73 Bedford -27
74 Herefordshire +4
75 Outer London - North & East +8
76 North Northamptonshire +1
77 Wolverhampton +2
78 Wiltshire -44
79 West Lothian +46
80 East Derbyshire +17
81 South Ayrshire +26
82 Isle of Anglesey +6
83 Stoke-on-Trent +25
84 Inner London - East +15
85 Angus & Dundee City +46
86 Wakefield -55
87 Inner London - West +14
88 Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan +27
89 East Riding of Yorkshire -73
90 Powys -21
91 East Merseyside -20
92 North Nottingham -5
93 Luton +23
94 Outer Belfast -33
95 Lincolnshire -45
96 East Cumbria -31
97 Milton Keynes -40
98 South West Wales -6
99 Southampton +1
100 Greater Manchester South -42
101 Leicester +21
102 Nottingham +8
103 Kent -58
104 Belfast -82
105 Norfolk -29
106 Lancashire -73
107 Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh, Arran & Cumbrae, Argyll & Bute +29
108 Caithness & Sutherland; Ross & Cromarty +26
109 Brighton & Hove -35
110 Liverpool -16
111 Suffolk -44
112 Shetland Islands -31
113 Thurrock -22
114 Bridgend & North Port Talbot -18
115 Blackburn With Darwen -1
116 Iverness & Nairn & Moray; Badenoch & Strathspey +16
117 East Sussex -47
118 East Ayrshire & North Aryshire (Mainland) +20
119 Torbay +4
120 North & North East Lincolnshire -73
121 Monmouthshire & Newport -3
122 Barnsley, Doncaster & Rotherham -68
123 Clackmannashire & Fife +10
124 Isle of Wight -20
125 [joint] Gwent Valleys -1
125 [joint] Somerset -43
127 Dumfries &Galloway No Change
128 Sandwell -25
129 South Teesside -36
130 East of Northern Ireland -91
131 Central Valleys -10
132 Devon -46
133 Blackpool -16
134 West & South of Northern Ireland -75
135 Eilean Siar (Western Isles) -15
136 North of Northern Ireland -68
137 Kingston Upon Hull -7
138 Bradford -43

About the research

The uSwitch.com study assessed 138 local areas (NUTS3 regions) for 26 factors such as salaries, disposable household income, and the cost of essential goods including food bills, fuel costs and energy bills. The study also factored in lifestyle issues like hours of sunshine, working hours and life expectancy to ensure a full picture of the quality of life in each NUTS3 region.

For more about the study's methodology, read the full press release .