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Winning place for families to live: Hertfordshire

Hertfordshire has one of the highest employment rates in the UK with 81% of those aged 16-64 employed, as well as some of the country’s best exam results (64% achieved 5+ A*-C grades including English and mathematics at GCSE or equivalent).

Local residents earn a healthy average gross income of £33,435, crime is low and fixed network broadband download speeds are faster than in most other areas of the UK

Caring for children

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Outer Belfast

Comes top for exam results with 70% of pupils achieving 5+ A*-C grades including English and mathematics at GCSE or equivalent

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London

Parents pay the most for childcare at an average £5.90 an hour

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Monmouthshire & Newport

Have the fewest state-funded primary schools per 1,000 residents (1 primary school per 6673 people)

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Portsmouth

Has the fastest fixed line download speeds in the country at 43Mbs

Budgeting for family life

The top four factors parents believe would enhance their family’s quality of life:

57%

More disposable income

53%

Cheaper costs of living

52%

Cheaper bills

43%

Better weather

Did you know?

52% of parents often worry about money and how to support their families

45% of parents worry about paying the bills

Family health and wellbeing

The following areas rank top for key factors relating to family health:

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East of England

Sunshine

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London

Hours of sleep

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Torbay

GPs per person

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Northumberland

Clean air

uSwitch top tips for the family home

  • Check your credit report before applying for any credit. To improve your credit score make sure you’re on the electoral role, your name is on household bills and you meet all payments on time.
  • Try to pay upfront for services like your car and home insurance and even line rental rather than choosing monthly payments, this can often save money over the course of the year.
  • Always shop around for the best deal before accepting a renewal quote for car or home insurance.
  • While third party car insurance policies offer the lowest level of protection, comprehensive policies often provide more cover for less.
  • Save up to £618 a year by switching your energy provider. It’s your choice who provides your energy whether you rent or own your own home. Fixed deals usually offer the cheapest rates, and some plans even offer extras, rewards or green electricity.
  • Consider a shared plan for the family’s data usage. Available from O2, EE and Vodafone. Shared plans let you share a single mobile internet allowance between up to five gadgets, such as smartphones, tablets, and even dongles and data-only SIMs.
  • Stop the kids from racking up bills in-app purchases in your phone’s settings section. Either lock purchases completely or set up a password that is required every time a purchase is made.
  • For TV viewing, some parental control software, such as Sky’s, lets you block TV channels and control viewing by the programme’s age certification.
  • If you want to make a big purchase, consider a credit card with a 0% purchase period and spread repayments over the course of the 0% period, effectively allowing you to borrow for free.
  • Help stabilise your monthly outgoings by considering a fixed-rate mortgage.
  • Consider remortgaging after your initial or fixed rate period expires, if you are on the lender’s Standard Variable Rate you could often switch to a far cheaper deal.
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Tashema Jackson, uSwitch.com money expert says:

It is vital that positive changes are made to help give all families fair opportunities no matter where they live – whether it is access to a good education, childcare, housing, GP’s and jobs. Quality of life should not be a postcode lottery.

In the meantime households can take an honest look at their budgets to see if there are any savings they can make to improve their own standard of living. Even simple steps such as switching energy or your broadband provider could put hundreds of pounds back into the household kitty.

Top 20 places to live for families

  1. Hertfordshire
  2. Cambridgeshire CC
  3. Central Bedfordshire
  4. Warrington
  5. York
  6. Tyneside
  7. Norfolk
  8. Northumberland
  9. West Cumbria
  10. Calderdale and Kirklees
  11. North Yorkshire CC
  12. Cheshire East
  13. Gloucestershire
  14. Bedford
  15. Darlington
  16. Essex CC
  17. Lancashire CC
  18. East Cumbria
  19. Dorset CC
  20. Buckinghamshire CC

Bottom 10 places to live for families

  1. North Lanarkshire
  2. Kingston Upon Hull, City of
  3. Falkirk
  4. Sandwell
  5. Nottingham
  6. Clackmannanshire and Fife
  7. Isle of Wight
  8. Glasgow City
  9. Leicester
  10. East Ayrshire and North Ayrshire mainland

Download the report

Read the Better Family Life Index from uSwitch including more top tips on how to improve your family’s finances. The factors behind family life are explored regionally, uncovering where in the UK families can find the best — and worst — quality of life. You can see the full rankings of all 138 local authorities in the UK as well as further analysis of key factors that affect family life.

Download now
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