If you are looking to relocate to different part of the UK, or perhaps move to the UK from another country, you'll want to know where you can expect a good quality of life.
Quality of life, of course, means different things to different people, and so in order to try and calculate where the best and worst places to live are in the UK, uSwitch have performed a study that uses data on all kinds of different subjects, from the cost of eating and running a car through to how easy it is to get a job, and even whether or not you can get a phone signal, to try and rank the 138 NUTS statistical regions in the UK.
uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index was originally carried out in 2013, however we have now analysed fresh data from 2015 to update the rankings and reveal which places have gone up or down the table, as well as where the best places to live in the UK in 2015 are.
Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly is one of the most improved places, statistically on our table, jumping from 66th place in 2013 to 24th when we analysed the 2015 data. Here are some statistics about Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly that were used:
Cornwall has a surprisingly high employment rate, at 74%. It isn't among the top in the UK, but is actually the same as the place that got our number 1 spot for 2015 – Edinburgh. It also seems to offer a good work life balance, with only 21% of people in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly working more than 45 hours a week.
Incomes in Cornwall are fairly low, with the gross weekly income for the average individual in this region at £425.70 in 2015. Disposable income per household, another factor in our calculations, is also lower than almost all of the places ranked above it at £16,489 for a year.
Despite low incomes, house prices in Cornwall are high, with the average in 2015 £214,500. Rent, however, is quite low compared with most of the places ranked above Cornwall, at £68 per week. Why not use our free mortgage calculator that helps you determine how much you could afford to borrow.
The average life expectancy for men in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly in 2015 was 79, and for women 83.
The cost of living in Cornwall is high considering incomes are low. Petrol prices are above average for the UK at 118p, and grocery shopping for a household averaged £60 per week in 2015 – not as high as a lot of places but high compared to average income.
Other Important Factors
As you might expect from a region with a lot of rural places, Cornwall scores badly for technology services, with just 57% of the region able to receive a mobile signal, and low broadband speeds averaging 11.65Mbps. See how your broadband speeds stack up against your neighbours by trying out our broadband speed testing tool.
Cornwall has a lot of things going for it, but with high house prices and low incomes, it may be a good choice for people who don't need to work or are self employed.
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 .