We have now repeated this research using 2015 data to create uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, in order to help you not only find the best places to live in the UK if you are looking to move, but also to see where regions of the UK are improving or have declined.
The Outer London – South NUTS region came in at number 15 on our 2015 study, rising slightly from 18th in 2013. As you might expect this is a region that offers plenty of services and conveniences, but here are some of the stats that put it in our 2015 top 20 of the best places to live in the UK:
A thing lots of UK people think is most important on the subject of good quality of life is employment. The Southern part of outer London can offer a high employment rate of 75%, which you might expect from a London location.
The bad news is that a higher than average percentage of people in this region work over 45 hours per week – 28% - which can indicate a poor work life balance.
Our statistics show that is not uncommon in London and its surrounding areas, or in commuter locations like Surrey, Berkshire and Hampshire which are all also in the top 20 but have similar stats in this category.
Incomes are very good in this region, with the average person's gross weekly income in 2015 at £542.34. There is also a lot of disposable income available to households in this area according to uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index - £21,665 per year.
As you would probably expect in outer London, house prices are high with the 2015 average at £331,090. This is actually lower than nearby Surrey, however. Rent, on the other hand is by far the highest in our top 20 at £102 per week.
Good quality of life is even better if you have a long time to enjoy it, and this area has above average life expectancies of 81 for men and 84 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 here is not as high as you might think. A weekly shop costs £60 for a household, which is the same as in places like Central Bedfordshire and Cornwall, and lower than Surrey and Hampshire. Car insurance is also surprisingly low at £483.60 – lower than many places in our top 20.
Other Important Factors
In South outer London you can expect reasonably good broadband speeds of 27.1Mps, and fairly good mobile phone coverage of 91%, though this is fairly low for London regions.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
With high incomes and employment and fairly reasonable living costs, this can be a good location for those who want to be in the London area.
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 .