The city of Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and a hugely popular tourist destination with plenty of history and culture. It also regularly sits at the top, or close to the top, when the UK's major cities are compared in terms of the quality of life, financial situation, and general level of happiness of the people who live in them.
In our 2015 study of 138 different UK regions, uSwitch found Edinburgh to rank top overall when 26 different factors relating to quality of life, such as cost of living, life expectancy, working hours and salaries were considered. So what are some of the factors that make Edinburgh such a great prospect for comfortable, satisfied UK living?
While unemployment has been a problem nationwide, and even globally since the start of the recession back in 2007, Edinburgh is currently enjoying a relatively low unemployment rate with 74% of people in work.
While Edinburgh has 51% of its population in full time employment working between 35-45 hours per week, it also has a comparatively low percentage of people working over 46 hours per week at 21% - showing a good work-life balance for employees in this city.
When you consider that the average rental prices are among the lowest for major UK cities – around the same as Glasgow and about a third of what rent costs in London (the average in the study was found to be £84.25 per week in 2015), yet the average salary is one of the highest at around £25,000 per year, people who live in Edinburgh have more disposable income and money to save or invest – the uSwitch study found the average Edinburgh household to have £20,083 per year available to spend.
The average house price in 2015 in Edinburgh was £176,136 – not among the lowest in the top 10 places, but definitely low for a capital city with good salaries and great services and amenities.
Cost of Living
The same 2015 study found that Edinburgh's average food expenditure was lower than the national average at £54.80 per week for a household, and fuel bills, car insurance premiums and petrol prices are also well below the UK average making it a cheap place to live.
If you want to check you’re on the cheapest energy deal head over to our energy comparison page.
Edinburgh has also recently been rated as the best city in the UK for the over 50's in a study by insurers RIAS who looked at statistics relating to a number of factors including finances, potential for social activity and general happiness to find the best place to retire in. So while it may have a great nightlife for younger people, and a great job market for those of working age, Edinburgh continues to be one of the best places to live in through the twilight years.
People in this city may even have longer to enjoy it, too - the life expectancy for people in Edinburgh is 79 years for men and 82 years for women – well above that of other major UK cities.
With 99% mobile phone signal coverage and average broadband speeds in Edinburgh of 30.3Mbps, Scotland's capital is also a great city to live in for those who can't live without technology, or like to stay in touch!
See how your broadband speeds stack up against your neighbours by trying out our broadband speed test.
Edinburgh certainly has a lot going for it as a place to live if you want to be in a UK city, and these stats show that whether you are at the start or end of your working life, it could be a very good choice of location.
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 .