Skip to main content
Menu
Central Valleys

Central Valleys ranks in the top 10 worst places to live in the UK

Find out why Central Valleys has been ranked one of the worst places to live in 2015

The UK has a lot of very different places to live, and choosing a location can make a big difference in terms of what your overall quality of life could be like if you are looking to move to a new part of the United Kingdom.

In order to rank the different statistical regions of the UK in terms of overall standard of living, uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index has taken into account stats relating to various key factors like unemployment rates, weekly cost of living, average household income and even life expectancy, to discover which are the best and worst places to live in the UK in 2015.

While Wales doesn't have any regions or cities listed in the 10 best places to live, sadly, it does appear in the 10 worst, with the Central Valleys NUTS region, which includes Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taff, listed as the 8th worst place to live in the UK. It has dropped 10 places from the last study of this kind in 2013 to 131st out of 138.

Here are some of the stats that give the Central Valleys such a poor score:

Employment

One of the biggest factors in terms of quality of life is the ease of finding employment, as this affects the general economic state of the area and affects even those who aren't in the job market themselves like retirees and self employed people. In the Central Valleys region of Wales, only 68% of people are employed, which is a very bad statistic for the area.

Income

Weekly gross income in the Central Valleys is also among the lowest of the 138 regions in uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, at £439.75. Each household also only has an average disposable income of just £14,126 per year, which is pretty low by UK standards.

House Prices

House prices appear low, with the average in 2015 at £91,250. For renters, however, the story is quite different, with rent per week at an average of £72.59, which is higher than many of the other places in our list of the 10 worst places to live in the UK.

Home values in Rhondda Cynon Taff

Home values in Merthyr Tydfil

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy in the Central Valleys is about average for England and Wales, at 77 for men and 81 for women.

Living Costs

Food bills are not exceptionally high or low with a weekly household grocery shop averaging £55.30. Dual fuel bills are also fairly average for the UK at £1,252.72 per year, though the low incomes and high rent may cause people in the Central Valleys to really feel the pinch.

Other Important Factors

The Central Valleys performed badly on some other areas that were taken into account in uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index. For one thing, people here get very low broadband speeds compared to the average, at just 12.1Mbps. Also, only 79% of the region has mobile phone signal. Broadband speeds can vary accross different regions - make sure you're getting the best deal for your home.

As you can see, there are a number of stats that contribute to why the Central Valleys is currently one of the worst places to live in the UK.

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 .