If you are someone who is looking to move in the UK, you can find out a lot about the best places to live from statistics
In order to analyse where you can expect to find the best quality of life, uSwitch carry out an analysis called uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, which looks at stats on all sorts of things from house and rental prices to employment statistics, and even things like local broadband speeds, and then assigns a rank to each of the UK's 138 statistical regions.
We did this study once in 2013, and again in 2015 in order to see the changing picture of where the best places to live are in the United Kingdom.
Central Bedfordshire ranked highly in the 2015 study, coming in at 13th of 138. This was a great improvement on its 31st place ranking in 2013
A thing a lot of us find fundamental with regard to making a place good to live in is the job market situation. Central Bedfordshire's employment rate is extremely high, even compared to top 10 regions, at 82%.
Despite high employment, incomes are not exceptional in this region, with the gross weekly income of the average resident of Central Bedfordshire coming in at £479.30.
It can be expected, in some ways though, that very high employment means diverse employment with more at the lower end, reducing the mean.
People here still enjoy over £19,000 in disposable income per household per year, which is actually a lot higher than places with much higher incomes like 12th place South Nottinghamshire.
House prices in this area in 2015 were on average £225,000 – far lower than 11th place Surrey, but higher than many of our other top 20 locations. Rent is very high though, averaging £97 per week, £17 more than in Surrey.
People in Central Bedfordshire have above average life expectancy for the UK, at 84 for women and 81 for men, though this is not hugely indicative as so many people move around in their lifetimes.
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.
Food bills here are on the high side of average at £60 for a household's weekly grocery shop. Dual fuel bills are quite low for the UK at £1,220. Petrol is high though, at an average of 117p.
If you want to check you’re on the cheapest energy deal head over to our energy comparison page.
Other Important Factors
These are not the only things that matter, especially in modern times! In Central Bedfordshire, if you want to get fast home broadband you're looking at an average speed of 25.8Mbps, which is not bad, but not as high as some of our other locations. Mobile coverage is also below average, at 89% of the region.
How does your broadband speeds compare to the national average? Test them with our broadand speed checker.
Like everywhere in our study this region has its positives and negatives, but at number 13, it can be called one of the best places to live in the UK in 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 .