When considering standard of living, it is possible to see a good deal of variation throughout England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. The quality of life you can expect to enjoy can differ drastically depending on where in the UK you choose to live, so when looking to move, it is always a good idea to do some research.
Whether you are in the process of choosing somewhere in the UK to relocate to, or you are just interested to know how where you live compares to other parts of the UK for quality of life, uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index is a study you may find helpful.
To create it, uSwitch analysed a vast range of officially sourced data relating to various things considered by most people to be important for quality of life. These included things like cost of living, house prices, employment rates and incomes, as well as less financially orientated things like local broadband speeds and mobile phone signal availability.
Using this analysis we were able to create a listing of the 138 UK statistical regions ranked from best quality of life to worst, and also to compare with results of a similar study we did in 2013 to get a picture of where in the UK had improved, and where had fallen back.
Medway in the South East of England is a statistical regions that has declined in statistical quality of life since 2013, falling from 51st to sit mid table at 70th in 2015. Here are some of its statistics:
Medway has reasonably good employment with 71% of the people who live in the region working, and 46% of Medway residents working full time hours between 35 and 45 a week.
Incomes in Medway are on the high end for the UK as a whole with the average individual in 2015 gaining a gross weekly income of £505. Disposable income, however, is not so far above average with the average household having £16,333 to spend for the year.
House prices are low in Medway (compared with the majority of the South East of England) and moderate for the UK as a whole, with the average house sold in 2015 costing £170k. Rent is, however, on the high side, averaging £82 per week.
Medway has fairly average life expectancy for the UK – for men it is 79 and for women 82. This is a smaller than average gap between men and women however at three years instead of the usual four.
The cost of the weekly grocery shop in Medway in 2015 was £63 for the average household, which is very high in terms of UK stats. Most other basic expenses we analysed like car and home insurance, petrol and fuel bills were also above UK averages. If you want to check you’re on the cheapest insurance head over to our insurance comparison page.
Other Important Factors
Technology wise, Medway compares well with most places for mobile phone coverage with 98% of the region receiving signal. It also has very good average broadband speeds at 31.8Mbps. Check your broadband’s speed and accuracy with our broadband speed test.
With a high cost of living but reasonable house prices and incomes, Medway has big pros and cons and sits right in the middle of our table for 2015.
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 .