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A panorame view of the Hertfordshire and Central Bedfordshire countryside in spring England

Central Bedfordshire is the 13th best place to live in the UK 2015

When looking at overall satisfaction and quality of life, there are, of course, lots of differences within England, NI, Scotland and Wales.

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

Employment

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%.

Income

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

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.

Home values in Bedfordshire

Life Expectancy

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.

Living Costs

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.

Compare energy

Compare broadband

Compare credit cards

Compare mortgages

Compare car insurance

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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 .