The recent uSwitch Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index study reveals which cities and regions in the UK offer the best and worst quality of life to their residents. As an update to a similar study done in 2013, we are able to see how quality of life has changed around the UK in the past two years, as well as being able to offer comparisons that can help you find the best place to move to.
Northern Ireland has scored fairly badly in this year’s comparisons, with three regions ranked in the ten worst places to live. The statistics used in the indexing include data on things like employment, house prices, cost of living and access to modern essentials like a mobile phone signal and fast broadband. The East of Northern Ireland comes in at 130th out of 138 regions, and has actually fallen 91 places since the last study in 2013. Read on to see why this region is one of the worst places to live in the United Kingdom in 2015:
The East of Northern Ireland is currently experiencing high rates of unemployment, with only 69% of people in work. 23% of people are also working more than 45 hours per week, indicating that a lot of people have a poor work life balance – a big negative when it comes to general quality of life.
Incomes are also low in this region, with people in the East of Northern Ireland earning a gross weekly salary of £416.60. Each household's disposable income is fairly low too, at just over £15k per year.
One thing in the East of Northern Ireland's favour is low house prices – if you are looking to buy the average is just £96,237. However, in spite of this, rent is still high at £82.74 per week.
Life expectancy in the East of Northern Ireland is fairly in line with the UK average, with 78 being the expectancy for men, and for women (who have a universally higher life expectancy), it is 83 in this region.
In most regions with low disposable income and high unemployment, food costs are also lower than average, however the people in the East of Northern Ireland actually spend the most on their weekly shop of anyone in the bottom 10 places, as well as many of the other 138 regions in uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index at £62.60 per week. Their car insurance premiums are also notably high, at £514.80 on average. Find cheaper car insurance deals here.
Other Important Factors
One other area where people have it worse in the east of Northern Ireland is when it comes to the availability of fast, reliable technology. Broadband speeds average just 20.3Mbps, and only 72% of the region has mobile phone signal. See if you could get faster broadband speeds with our broadband comparison tool.
The east of Northern Ireland suffers from high cost of living and low employment, as well as a lack of reliable modern services, making it one of the 10 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.
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 .