Where you live can have a major impact on the kind of opportunities open to you, and the level of comfort you will experience in your everyday life.
In regards to the quality of life people are enjoying, there is certainly quite a lot of variation within the different parts of England, NI, Scotland and Wales, and this can make it hard to know where the best places to live are when you are looking to move in the UK.
To help establish where, based on real, officially sourced data, the best cities and regions of the UK are for quality of life right now, uSwitch has performed a detailed statistical analysis of a range of factors across all of the 138 statistical regions in the UK. In doing this, we have created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, a ranking from best to worst of every part of the UK based on statistics relating to everything from incomes and house prices, to broadband speeds.
As well as being able to show the best places to live in the UK, when we compare this analysis to a similar study done by uSwitch in 2013, we can also see how some cities and regions are improving in terms of quality of life over time, and others are losing places in the rankings.
Herefordshire is a statistical region that has improved since 2013, but only slightly, moving up four places from 78th to 74th, and remaining effectively in the middle of the table. Here are some stats for Herefordshire:
Herefordshire has pretty good employment rates, with 77% of people in work. This is higher than average, however there are a higher than average number of people considered to be overworking – i.e. regularly doing over 45 hours a week – too, at 25%.
While gross weekly income in Herefordshire is pretty low at £405.80 in 2015, the amount of disposable income households here have is very good, at £17,776 for the year.
House prices are high, with the average home in 2015 costing £190k. This is not as high as some other parts of England, however it is high for the West Midlands region. Rental prices are slightly above average at £72 per week.
Life expectancy statistics in Herefordshire are just above UK average figures, with men expected to live to 80 and women to 84.
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 feeding your family in Herefordshire is fairly low at £54 per week for food and non alcoholic beverages. Car insurance is more expensive than average though, at £540.80.
Even though, the insurance premiums are high, there are certain steps you can take to find the best car insurance deals for you.
Other Important Factors
Oxfordshire gives a fairly poor performance on technology, with only 67% of the region receiving mobile phone signal, and broadband speeds of 12.7Mbps on average.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
Herefordshire is about halfway down the list when it comes to quality of life in the UK, and as you might expect, this means it has as many drawbacks as it does positives.
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 .