If you are looking for the best place to move to in the UK, it can really pay to look at some of the intelligence available relating to the kind of quality of life you can expect in different regions and cities.
To help people find the best places to live in the UK, uSwitch have undertaken an analysis of a wide range of different data and stats, and created an index which allows us to list the 138 UK NUTS 1 regions from best to worst.
Factors included in the study include access to convenient services like mobile phone coverage, and broadband internet speeds, along with more traditional measures of quality of life like average income, house and rental prices, unemployment rates and the cost of normal household expenses like food and energy.
With the results of uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, we can now report that in 2015, the worst place to live in the UK is Bradford. Bradford dropped 63 places from the last time this study was carried out in 2013 to sit in 138th place.
Yorkshire on the whole has been shown to be the most diverse count in the UK for quality of life, with Bradford and Hull the two worst places to live, but York ranking the 9th best!
Here are some of the reasons Bradford scores so poorly on the uSwitch index:
Bradford, similar to the second ranking worst place to live of Hull, has only 65% of its people in employment. This is one of the biggest factors in terms of it being a bad place to live, as the employment situation affects the whole economy of the area – meaning even people who wouldn't ordinarily be working anyway like retirees are affected in a negative way.
Bradford's average weekly gross income is £456.60, which while low when all 138 NUTS 1 UK regions in uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index are taken into account, is not one of the very lowest. Disposable income is also low at just £13,654 for the average household, though this is actually higher than Hull which has, strangely, lower gross weekly incomes.
House prices in Bradford are much higher than in Hull, our second place worst UK area to live in, at £120,000 compared with Hull's £97,000. However, it is not the house prices, which by UK nationwide standards actually aren't that high, that make Bradford such a poor place to live in 2015, but the rent. Average weekly rent here is £92.66 per week – higher not only than all the other places in the uSwitch 10 worst list, but also higher than anywhere at the top end of the best places to live list, including places like Berkshire that are in the commuter catchment area for London!
Life expectancy in Bradford is not especially unusual for the UK, at 78 for men and 81 for women.
As you might expect due to being in a similar part of the country, living costs other than other rent are much the same as in Hull at just under £50 weekly for household food expenses, car insurance premiums at £509.60 and home insurance at £249.60, which are all fairly average UK-wide.
If you want to check you’re on the cheapest insurance head over to our insurance comparison page.
Other Important Factors
For a well populated urban area, Bradford has quite poor mobile phone coverage with only 97% of the region getting signal. Broadband speeds are decent enough at 25.7Mbps.
Read our guide, to ensure which mobile network has the best mobile phone coverage
Low employment and exceptionally high rent costs contribute to other factors, making Bradford our overall worst place to live for 2015.
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.
Place to Live 2015 — Where did your region rank?
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 .