The UK is a place of massive diversity, and this can make it hard to find the right place to live for quality of life, even if you have already isolated your search to a particular area of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, like the London area.
In order to help you know where to expect the best quality of life in the UK in 2015, uSwitch has once again prepared uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – our analysis of a wide range of data relating to standard of living for all of the 138 statistical regions of the United Kingdom.
By comparing where each location ranks compared with its results from our last study in 2013, it is also interesting to see how some of the places in the UK have improved for overall quality of life, and some have deteriorated.
The Inner London – West statistical region is a region that has gained places on uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, rising from 101 to 87 – a gain of 14 places.
This is one of the more unusual regions of the UK, as even without looking at the statistics, most people are already aware that it is one of the richest (and therefore most expensive) places in the UK, and even the world.
Including places like Mayfair, Kensington and Chelsea, this is a region whose statistics stand out a lot on our table compared with everywhere else, even its closest rival, Inner London – East.
Here are some of the statistics for Inner London – West:
Inner London – West has surprisingly low employment rates, with 71% of its inhabitants employed overall, and just 35% employed full time and working standard hours of between 35 and 45 hours per week. A further 41% can be considered as 'overworking' at over 45 hours per week – by far the highest rate of overworking in the UK.
Incomes are above average in Inner London – West as you might expect, with the gross weekly income of individuals here at £682.02. Disposable income is the highest in the UK by far, at £39,602 per household. There are not that many places on our list that go above £20k, so you can see how different Inner London – West is.
By UK standards, house prices in this region are extremely high – again, the highest in the country – at £777,500. This is almost double the average in Inner London – East.
The life expectancy from birth in Inner London – West is above national averages for England and the UK as a whole, at 81 for men and 85 for women.
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 for your household in Inner London – West is fairly high at £60 per week, however this is not the highest in the UK – surprisingly other places like Portsmouth actually have higher cost of living for food, and Inner London – West is just average for the South East.
Other Important Factors
Inner London – West scores surprisingly badly for communication technology – it has fairly mediocre average broadband speeds of 27.1Mbps, and just 91% mobile phone coverage.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
In terms of quality of life and general satisfaction, there is considerable diversity around the England, Scotland, Wales and NI, and it is interesting to see where locations with unusual statistics like Inner London – West compare to the nation.
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 .