For statistical analysis purposes, the UK is divided into 138 statistical regions, called NUTS 3 regions, and stats are collected for these about all sorts of things by the Office of National Statistics. Using ONS data and other information, uSwitch have created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – a system of ranking the regions in terms of the quality of life they can offer.
We did the analysis before using data from 2013, but have now repeated the data analysis using 2015 data to show a more up to date ranking of the 138 UK regions, and also to allow for comparison with how things were two years ago.
One of the most improved NUTS 3 UK regions is Falkirk in East Scotland. In 2013, Falkirk was in lowly 111th place, but since then it has shot up the table to 36th and is now in the top third of places to live in the UK.
Here are some stats relating to Falkirk:
73% of the people living in Falkirk are employed, which is a fairly good statistic but not up there with the best – Cambridgeshire for example has 80% employment though because our index takes lots of stats into account, it is actually several places below Falkirk in 39th.
Incomes in Falkirk are above average, with the average resident gaining a gross weekly income of £517.40 in 2015.
House prices in Falkirk are well below average for the UK, with the average property sold in 2015 fetching £109k. Rent is also very low by UK standards at £55 per person, per week.
Scotland has, in general, slightly lower life expectancy than the rest of the UK, and this is the case in Falkirk too with men expected to live to 78 and women 81. What is interesting here though, is that the gap between men and women is smaller than in most other regions at three rather than four years.
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.
The cost of food in Falkirk is on the low side of average at £55 for a household weekly shop. Like many places in Scotland, car insurance is cheap by UK standards averaging £343. Dual fuel bills are also below average at £1,209.
Other Important Factors
An area where Falkirk, and in fact most of Scotland, excels on our index is technology services. It has some of the highest broadband speeds in the UK at 30.8Mbps, and 98% of the region has mobile phone signal.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
Aside from life expectancy, Falkirk is average or better for many of the statistics we used, which is why it is now in the top third of the table.
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 .