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Dunstanburgh castle Northumberland England

Northumberland is the 4th best place to live in the UK 2015

The UK is a very diverse place, and the quality of life you can get in different cities and regions can vary quite a lot.

This means if you are looking for the best place to move to in the UK, there are quite a lot of factors you might want to take into account.

To help determine the best and worst places to live right now in the United Kingdom, uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index 2015 has analysed a wide range of different data relating to 138 different locations, and found the places that are statistically the best and worst in terms of things like cost of living, employment prospects, income, and other things like the cost of insurance and how good important things like mobile phone network coverage and broadband speeds are.

In this study, Northumberland has been ranked as the 4th best place to live in the UK, and if you read on, you can find out why!

Employment

Northumberland has a high rate of employment compared with the national average. 73% of people here are employed, which is even 1% higher than in our number one city of Edinburgh.

45% of people are working between 35 and 45 hours a week, considered to be good, standard full time hours, with a low 22% going over 45 hours per week – indicating a good balance between work and home life for Northumberland's full time employees.

"And while Edinburgh sits proudly at the top of the spire, Scotland as a whole is the star performer, with its regions easily making the biggest climbs in the ranks this year."

Income

Gross weekly income in Northumberland is actually the lowest of all of our top 10 best places to live in the UK at £447.50 per week, however households still have on average £17.6k in disposable income per year.

House Prices

House prices in Northumberland are far lower than the three regions that rank above it in our top 10, at £147,064 on average. Compared with £293,344 in third place Hertfordshire and it is easy to see how the lower income is offset for many people.

Rent is also very low compared with other regions and the national average, at just £57.19 per week.

Home values in Northumberland

Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is 79 for men and 82 for women, which is among the lowest in the top 10 but still represents 'a good innings' for the people of Northumberland!

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.

Living Costs

Insurance premiums are very low in Northumberland, with home insurance averaging at just £208 and car insurance at £395.20. With household food bills at just £48.60 per week and petrol prices also low at 116.67p, money can go a long way in this part of the country.

If you want to check you’re on the cheapest energy deal head over to our energy comparison page.

Other Important Factors

Northumberland does have a lot of things going for it, but for a top 10 region it does lag behind a little on modern services.

It has just 76% mobile phone signal coverage, and average broadband speeds of a mediocre 14.4Mbps.However, as this is a fairly large region compared with some other NUTS 1 regions in our comparison which are only one city, rural areas can account for these lower stats.

Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.

Northumberland benefits from very low prices on things that matter like housing and food, meaning you can get a good quality of life thanks to great value for money.

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.

Compare energy

Compare broadband

Compare credit cards

Compare mortgages

Compare car insurance

Compare mobiles

Place to Live 2015 — Where did your region rank?

2015 Rank Region Rank Change from 2013
1 Edinburgh +97
2 Solihull -1
3 Hertfordshire No Change
4 Northumberland +4
5 South Lanarkshire +55
6 Berkshire +3
7 Darlington +18
8 North Lanarkshire +98
9 York +6
10 Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire & Renfrewshire +102
11 Surrey -6
12 South Nottinghamshire -8
13 Central Bedfordshire +18
14 Wirral +13
15 Outer London - South +3
16 Warwickshire -10
17 Bath & North East Somerset; North Somerset & South Gloucestershire +3
18 Hampshire -5
19 Orkney Islands +86
20 Cheshire East -8
21 Tyneside -7
22 West Cumbria +41
23 Derby +14
24 Cornwall & Isles of Scilly +42
25 East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire; Helensburgh & Lomond +59
26 North Yorkshire -24
27 Swindon -8
28 Coventry +36
29 Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire +46
30 Calerdale & Kirklees +12
31 Worcestshire +13
32 Warrington -4
33 Outer London North & West +22
34 Leicestershire & Rutland +6
35 Birmingham +38
36 Falkirk +75
37 Sunderland -11
38 East Lothian & Midlothian +90
39 Cambridgshire -9
40 Telford & Wrekin +1
41 Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees +14
42 Cheshire West -26
43 Durham -19
44 Buckinghamshire -33
45 Gwynedd +81
46 Bournemouth & Poole +34
47 Bristol +25
48 Sheffield -19
49 Walsall +41
50 West Northamptonshire +11
51 Glasgow +84
52 Flintshire & Wrexham +60
53 Oxfordshire -43
54 Scottish Borders +83
55 Gloucestershire -48
56 Sefton -8
57 Staffordshire -19
58 Conwy & Denbighshire +71
59 Plymouth +30
60 Greater Manchester North -11
61 [joint] Leeds -26
61 [joint] Perth & Kinross and Sterling +41
63 Southend-on-Sea +22
64 South & West Derbyshire -44
65 Portsmouth -14
66 Dorset -23
67 Peterborough +52
68 Essex -15
69 Shropshire -33
70 Medway -19
71 West Sussex -48
72 Swansea +37
73 Bedford -27
74 Herefordshire +4
75 Outer London - North & East +8
76 North Northamptonshire +1
77 Wolverhampton +2
78 Wiltshire -44
79 West Lothian +46
80 East Derbyshire +17
81 South Ayrshire +26
82 Isle of Anglesey +6
83 Stoke-on-Trent +25
84 Inner London - East +15
85 Angus & Dundee City +46
86 Wakefield -55
87 Inner London - West +14
88 Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan +27
89 East Riding of Yorkshire -73
90 Powys -21
91 East Merseyside -20
92 North Nottingham -5
93 Luton +23
94 Outer Belfast -33
95 Lincolnshire -45
96 East Cumbria -31
97 Milton Keynes -40
98 South West Wales -6
99 Southampton +1
100 Greater Manchester South -42
101 Leicester +21
102 Nottingham +8
103 Kent -58
104 Belfast -82
105 Norfolk -29
106 Lancashire -73
107 Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh, Arran & Cumbrae, Argyll & Bute +29
108 Caithness & Sutherland; Ross & Cromarty +26
109 Brighton & Hove -35
110 Liverpool -16
111 Suffolk -44
112 Shetland Islands -31
113 Thurrock -22
114 Bridgend & North Port Talbot -18
115 Blackburn With Darwen -1
116 Iverness & Nairn & Moray; Badenoch & Strathspey +16
117 East Sussex -47
118 East Ayrshire & North Aryshire (Mainland) +20
119 Torbay +4
120 North & North East Lincolnshire -73
121 Monmouthshire & Newport -3
122 Barnsley, Doncaster & Rotherham -68
123 Clackmannashire & Fife +10
124 Isle of Wight -20
125 [joint] Gwent Valleys -1
125 [joint] Somerset -43
127 Dumfries &Galloway No Change
128 Sandwell -25
129 South Teesside -36
130 East of Northern Ireland -91
131 Central Valleys -10
132 Devon -46
133 Blackpool -16
134 West & South of Northern Ireland -75
135 Eilean Siar (Western Isles) -15
136 North of Northern Ireland -68
137 Kingston Upon Hull -7
138 Bradford -43

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 .