The UK has a lot of variance when it comes to quality of life, with what you get for your money, ease of finding employment, and access to important services differing a lot depending on where you live.
In order to work out what the best places to live in the UK currently are in terms of a wide range of key factors like house and rental prices, average income, life expectancy and unemployment rates, uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index for 2015 has compared 138 different UK cities and regions.
As well as identifying the best places to live, of course, this index also shows the places that statistically speaking offer the worst quality of life. Among these is Kingston Upon Hull, or just 'Hull' as most of us know it, in Yorkshire. Hull comes in at 137 on our list of 138, leaving only Bradford with a worse performance in the stats. Here are some of the reasons Hull offers low quality of life:
The rate of employment is very low in Hull, at just 65%, which is the same as the rate of employment in Bradford, which has the dubious honour of being the worst place in the UK to live in 2015 according to uSwitch data. As well as high unemployment, Hull also has an above average number of people overworking, with 24% doing more than 45 hours per week.
Income in Hull is not among the very worst in the UK, at £466.30 – of the 10 worst places over all in our study, it has the second highest weekly gross income after South Teesside, which is in the 10th worst position. Disposable income is low, however, at £13,046 for the average household.
House prices and rent in Hull are not exceptionally bad either, with the average house costing £97,000 and rent just under £70 per week. However, with the low employment rates and fairly low incomes, this is not enough to offset the difficulty people may have paying for accommodation or buying homes.
In UK statistical terms, life expectancy in Hull is on the low side, however men can still expect to live to 77, and women to 81, so there is not much difference between here and places with better stats in this particular category.
Dual fuel bills are around typical for the North of England, at about £1,217 per year for the average household. Insurance premiums can be on the high side in comparison to some of the other 138 places in uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index with car insurance at nearly £510, and home insurance just under £250. For household food costs, the average home spends £49.80 a week, which is quite expensive for a lower income area.
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Other Important Factors
While Kingston Upon Hull does have excellent mobile phone coverage, with 99% of places receiving signal within the boundaries of the statistical Kingston Upon Hull area, broadband speeds leave something to be desired – on average the speed here is just a meagre 14.1Mbps.
Check how fast your broadband is with our broadband speed testing tool.
This statistical picture of Hull explains some of the reasons why it is the second worst place for quality of life in the UK according to uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index.
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 .