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Gwent Valleys

Gwent Valleys is one of the 20 worst places to live in 2015

When you are looking to move, picking a part of the UK where you can get good quality of life is harder than it sounds, with so many factors to take into consideration.

This is why we have created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – a regular study that looks at how each of the 138 statistical regions of the UK compare for quality of life based on a wide range of factors.

This is why we have created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – a regular study that looks at how each of the 138 statistical regions of the UK compare for quality of life based on a wide range of factors.

The Gwent Valleys in the West Wales and the Valleys wider UK region is one of the poorest performing NUTS 3 statistical regions in the UK based on our study using 2015 data, and is also one of the rare cases where there was hardly any movement between our new study and the last time we calculated uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index back in 2013.

The Gwent Valleys moved just one place on the league table going from 124th in 2013 to 125th in 2015, making it the 13th worst place out of the 138 statistical regions in the UK for quality of life.

Here are some of the defining stats for the Gwent Valleys:

Employment

The Gwent Valleys region has below average overall employment at 67%. Its full time employment stats for people working normal hours (considered to be 35-45 hours per week) are actually higher than average however, at 49%.

Income

Incomes in the Gwent Valleys are fairly mediocre – not among the UK's lowest, however. The average gross weekly income in the Gwent Valleys in 2015 was £449.20. Household disposable income is below average here, though, at £14,067.

House Prices

House prices are well below average in the Gwent Valleys at £104,916.67 on average in 2015, though not down there with the cheapest in the UK. Rent is on the high side, especially comparative to the cost of buying a house, at £74 per week.

Home values in Wales

Life Expectancy

As with several of the less prosperous parts of Wales, the Gwent Valleys has a below average life expectancy for both men and women. Male life expectancy from birth in th Gwent Valleys is just 77, and for women it is 81.

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.

Living Costs

Despite the low house prices, the actual cost of living in the Gwent Valleys is on par with much of the rest of the UK, in line with overall averages at £55 for a weekly grocery shop and 117p for petrol.

Other Important Factors

Another area where the Gwent Valleys doesn't do very well is in its technology. The average broadband speeds in the Gwent Valleys is only 15.63Mbps, and only 85% of the area included in the Gwent Valleys statistical region can get mobile phone signal.

Find out which network has the best mobile coverage in our dedicated guide

The Gwent Valleys is an example of a region with low employment and low disposable income, but an average cost of living, expensive rent, and other negatives like low life expectancy and poor technology. These are some of the reasons it appears so low on our 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.

Compare energy

Compare broadband

Compare credit cards

Compare mortgages

Compare car insurance

Compare mobiles

Place to Live 2015 — Where did your region rank?

2015 Rank Region Rank Change from 2013
1 Edinburgh +97
2 Solihull -1
3 Hertfordshire No Change
4 Northumberland +4
5 South Lanarkshire +55
6 Berkshire +3
7 Darlington +18
8 North Lanarkshire +98
9 York +6
10 Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire & Renfrewshire +102
11 Surrey -6
12 South Nottinghamshire -8
13 Central Bedfordshire +18
14 Wirral +13
15 Outer London - South +3
16 Warwickshire -10
17 Bath & North East Somerset; North Somerset & South Gloucestershire +3
18 Hampshire -5
19 Orkney Islands +86
20 Cheshire East -8
21 Tyneside -7
22 West Cumbria +41
23 Derby +14
24 Cornwall & Isles of Scilly +42
25 East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire; Helensburgh & Lomond +59
26 North Yorkshire -24
27 Swindon -8
28 Coventry +36
29 Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire +46
30 Calerdale & Kirklees +12
31 Worcestshire +13
32 Warrington -4
33 Outer London North & West +22
34 Leicestershire & Rutland +6
35 Birmingham +38
36 Falkirk +75
37 Sunderland -11
38 East Lothian & Midlothian +90
39 Cambridgshire -9
40 Telford & Wrekin +1
41 Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees +14
42 Cheshire West -26
43 Durham -19
44 Buckinghamshire -33
45 Gwynedd +81
46 Bournemouth & Poole +34
47 Bristol +25
48 Sheffield -19
49 Walsall +41
50 West Northamptonshire +11
51 Glasgow +84
52 Flintshire & Wrexham +60
53 Oxfordshire -43
54 Scottish Borders +83
55 Gloucestershire -48
56 Sefton -8
57 Staffordshire -19
58 Conwy & Denbighshire +71
59 Plymouth +30
60 Greater Manchester North -11
61 [joint] Leeds -26
61 [joint] Perth & Kinross and Sterling +41
63 Southend-on-Sea +22
64 South & West Derbyshire -44
65 Portsmouth -14
66 Dorset -23
67 Peterborough +52
68 Essex -15
69 Shropshire -33
70 Medway -19
71 West Sussex -48
72 Swansea +37
73 Bedford -27
74 Herefordshire +4
75 Outer London - North & East +8
76 North Northamptonshire +1
77 Wolverhampton +2
78 Wiltshire -44
79 West Lothian +46
80 East Derbyshire +17
81 South Ayrshire +26
82 Isle of Anglesey +6
83 Stoke-on-Trent +25
84 Inner London - East +15
85 Angus & Dundee City +46
86 Wakefield -55
87 Inner London - West +14
88 Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan +27
89 East Riding of Yorkshire -73
90 Powys -21
91 East Merseyside -20
92 North Nottingham -5
93 Luton +23
94 Outer Belfast -33
95 Lincolnshire -45
96 East Cumbria -31
97 Milton Keynes -40
98 South West Wales -6
99 Southampton +1
100 Greater Manchester South -42
101 Leicester +21
102 Nottingham +8
103 Kent -58
104 Belfast -82
105 Norfolk -29
106 Lancashire -73
107 Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh, Arran & Cumbrae, Argyll & Bute +29
108 Caithness & Sutherland; Ross & Cromarty +26
109 Brighton & Hove -35
110 Liverpool -16
111 Suffolk -44
112 Shetland Islands -31
113 Thurrock -22
114 Bridgend & North Port Talbot -18
115 Blackburn With Darwen -1
116 Iverness & Nairn & Moray; Badenoch & Strathspey +16
117 East Sussex -47
118 East Ayrshire & North Aryshire (Mainland) +20
119 Torbay +4
120 North & North East Lincolnshire -73
121 Monmouthshire & Newport -3
122 Barnsley, Doncaster & Rotherham -68
123 Clackmannashire & Fife +10
124 Isle of Wight -20
125 [joint] Gwent Valleys -1
125 [joint] Somerset -43
127 Dumfries &Galloway No Change
128 Sandwell -25
129 South Teesside -36
130 East of Northern Ireland -91
131 Central Valleys -10
132 Devon -46
133 Blackpool -16
134 West & South of Northern Ireland -75
135 Eilean Siar (Western Isles) -15
136 North of Northern Ireland -68
137 Kingston Upon Hull -7
138 Bradford -43

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 .