There is a lot of diversity between the different parts of the United Kingdom, with every one of the cities and regions that make up England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland having its own peculiarities, its own economy, and a different level of quality of life for its residents.
This is one of the things that makes the UK so interesting and unique, but in practical terms, it can mean you can lose out if you don't do your research when you are looking to move to a new area.
To help give a good picture of where the best places to live in the UK are right now, we have created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index.
This is a method of ranking the 138 statistical regions of the UK in order of overall quality of life, based on an index derived from a wide range of official data for things that affect quality of life, like house prices, cost of living, the job market, and less money orientated factors like local broadband speeds and school class sizes.
Milton Keynes in the South East of England is a region that performed less well in our 2015 study than the last time we prepared uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index in 2013, falling down 40 places from 57 to 97 out of 138.
Here are some of the statistics that were used to define quality of life in Milton Keynes in 2015:
Milton Keynes has reasonably good employment rates with 74% of the people who live in this region in paid employment. A higher than average 48% of people work normal full time hours of between 35 and 45 per week.
Incomes are very good in Milton Keynes compared to the UK as a whole, and are actually fairly high even for the South East of England – on the whole the highest earning part of the UK. The gross weekly income in 2015 of an average individual in Milton Keynes was £559.10.
House prices in Milton Keynes are fairly high, though lower than many parts of the South East region of England. The average house price in 2015 was £208,750. Rental prices are well above average at £81 per week.
Average life expectancy in Milton Keynes is similar to overall averages for England at 79 for men and 83 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 living is very high in Milton Keynes. An average weekly grocery shop costs £63 here, which is higher even than in central London. For motorists, car insurance is expensive at £556.40 and petrol is above average at 118p, though not among the most expensive in the UK.
Other Important Factors
Technology in Milton Keynes is not as good as you might expect for a city in the South East of England, with average broadband speeds of just 21.4Mbps, and mobile phone coverage for only 95% of the region.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
Milton Keynes does have some positives, however the comparatively high cost of living and some other negatives in its stats mean that on balance it falls in the bottom half of the table for quality of life overall.
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 .