Every one of the UK's cities and regions has a different local economy and job market, and the levels of convenience people who live in different parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland experience are vastly different too.
In order to help get a clearer picture of quality of life across the UK, we have created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index.
This is a study of a wide range of official statistics from sources like the ONS relating to things like jobs, incomes, house prices and cost of living – as well as other non-financial aspects of life – across all of the 138 statistical regions of the UK. Using our findings, we are able to create a kind of league table of the UK's cities and regions ordered from best to worst for overall quality of life.
Luton in the East of England is a place whose statistics have improved since the previous uSwitch study of quality of life in 2013, rising up from 116th on our list to 93rd in 2015. Here are some of the statistics for Luton that were used in our study:
Luton has an employment rate that is lower than average with only 66% of its people in work. Full time employment rates, however, are higher than average at 48%.
Incomes in Luton are not especially low with the average gross weekly income for Luton individuals in 2015 at £486.20. Household annual disposable income in Luton is low, however, at £13,337.
House prices in Luton are moderate by UK standards overall at an average of £168k. This is, however, low for the East of England region. Rent in Luton is high, at £79 per person, per week.
The average life expectancy for both men and women is slightly below average for England in Luton. Male life expectancy here is 78, and female life expectancy is 82.
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 an average household food shop is above average in Luton, costing £60 in 2015. Car insurance is also costly in the Luton statistical region at £525.20, though petrol is average at 117p.
Other Important Factors
Luton performs exceptionally well when it comes to the technology factors that are important for modern life. It has 99% coverage from mobile phone networks, and its average broadband speeds are 32.3Mbps – among the highest in the UK.
See how your broadband speeds stack up against your neighbours by trying out our broadband speed test.
The UK is a place with lots of diversity, and most places have both positive and negative aspects. While Luton benefits from excellent technological services and low house prices for the region it is in, it suffers from low employment and low incomes, as well as a high cost of living, and this is why it falls in the lower half of uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index results.
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 .