We've compared every region of the UK across a range of factors pertinent to quality of life, and created a league table of the best and worst places to live based on our findings.
Dumfries and Galloway in South Western Scotland is a rare case in our study, where it falls in exactly the same place in our recent study using 2015 data as it did in our previous version of uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index back in 2013.
Unfortunately, this is a low place on our table – 127th out of 138 UK NUTS 3 statistical regions to be exact. This means that in both 2013 and 2015, Dumfries and Galloway was the 12th worst place to live in the UK for statistical quality of life.
Here are some of the 2015 statistics for Dumfries and Galloway that were used in our study:
Employment rates in Dumfries and Galloway are not particularly low overall with a fairly average 72% of people in work, however, the percentage of people working standard full time hours every week (regarded as being 35 to 45 hours) is well below average at 36%.
With another 25% (which is slightly higher than average) regarded to be working more hours than is recommended for a good work life balance, this means that there are a lot of people either working part time, or working too much.
Incomes are below average for the UK and for Scotland with the gross weekly income in Dumfries and Galloway in 2015 at £432.40.
One of the few areas where Dumfries and Galloway scores well (if you are a buyer) is its low house prices. While not among the very lowest in the UK, Dumfries and Galloway's average house price in 2015 was well below average at £118k. Rent is also well below average at £60 per week.
Dumfries and Galloway is an unusual one for life expectancy. Where in almost all other regions the gap between men and women is four years, with some cases of three or five, in Dumfries and Galloway there is just a two year gap with men living to an average of 78 and women 80. This is below average for both genders but especially women.
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
While incomes are low, the cost of living in Dumfries and Galloway is in line with UK and Scottish averages, with a weekly grocery shop costing £55 and average petrol prices at 117p. Car insurance is cheap by UK standards at £343.20, however this is the case throughout Scotland.
Other Important Factors
Dumfries and Galloway has very poor mobile phone coverage, with just 63% of the region able to get a signal. It also has slow average broadband speeds, at 10.7Mbps. Find out which network has the best mobile coverage in our dedicated guide
Dumfries and Galloway has some interesting statistics like its unusual life expectancy, however most of its stats are negative, which is why it appears so low on uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index.
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 .