When it comes to quality of life, where you live plays a huge part. Because there are so many very different places in the UK, each with their own economies, job markets and social cultures, quality of life can vary dramatically depending on where you go.
This means that when you are looking to move, it is really important to gather as much information as you can about how comfortable life is likely to be for you in the places you are considering.
Whether you are looking to move at the moment, or are just curious about the different quality of life people are experiencing around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland at the moment, uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index can offer some helpful insight.
To create this league table of the best places to live in the UK, uSwitch has used a large amount of official data on everything from cost of living and house prices through to the cost of running a car, how big classrooms are in local schools, and even broadband speeds to get a good general picture of quality of life in each of the UK's 138 NUTS 3 statistical regions.
This is not the first time uSwitch has done this analysis, so we can also compare our findings from this new study using 2015 data with our league table from 2013, to see how the UK has changed in quality of life terms in the past two years.
Perth & Kinross and Stirling in Eastern Scotland is a statistical region that has shown marked improvement in our index since 2013, rising up the table from 102nd place to 61st. These are some of the statistics we used in our analysis for Perth & Kinross and Stirling:
Perth & Kinross and Stirling has a good rate of overall employment at 76%, however there is a smaller than average percentage of the population working normal full time hours of 35-45 hours per week at 42%.
Incomes are fairly average by UK standards with the average gross weekly income per person in 2015 at £477.20.
The average house price is moderately low at £153,607. Rent is lower than average for the UK at £60 per week.
Life expectancies in Perth & Kinross and Stirling are in line with the average for the UK as a whole at 79 for males and 82 for females.
Living expenses are on the low side of average with the average weekly grocery shop coming to £55 in 2015 and petrol average at 117p. As with most of Scotland, car insurance is below average for the UK, at £343.20.
Other Important Factors
Perth & Kinross and Stirling doesn't score too well for technology, with low average broadband speeds of 16.4Mbps, and just 73% mobile phone coverage.
Perth & Kinross and Stirling is a region of the UK that has moved up the table since 2013, but still has some downsides – particularly when it comes to how convenient it is to communicate using technology.
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 .