When talking about the quality of life you can get, you can see significant differences within all of England, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland. This can make it a challenge when you are looking to move to know what to expect from different cities and regions you are considering.
Luckily, there are a lot of statistics gathered for the UK, which for analysis purposes is divided into 138 NUTS 3 statistical regions. Using statistics for a wide array of different things that most people would consider important to quality of life like cost of living, the employment market, and non financial things like classroom sizes, mobile phone coverage and broadband speeds, uSwitch has created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – a measure of quality of life in all 138 regions – which allows us to rank places from best to worst in the UK.
This new study was carried out using data from 2015, however we previously conducted similar research using 2013 data, and are now able to compare the results of the two and show not only the best places to live right now, but also places that have improved in the past two years.
One such place is Peterborough, which has gone from 119th place in 2013 to 67th – placing it in our top half for 2015. Here are some of the stats for this region:
Peterborough has a good employment rate at 74%. 50% of people in this region are in full time employment working from 35-45 hours per week, which is much higher than average.
Incomes are fairly good when compared UK wide, with the gross weekly income of the average person living in the Peterborough statistical region in 2015 at £498 per week. Disposable income, however, is just average, at £15,859 per household, per year.
House prices are reasonably low in Peterborough compared to much of the UK, with the average house in 2015 costing £150k.
Compared with the rest of England and the UK as a whole, Peterborough has slightly low life expectancy, at 78 for men and 83 for women. This is also a larger gap between men and women than in most places at five years rather than four.
While the weekly grocery shop in Peterborough is fairly high at £60 per week, it is an expensive place for motorists, as well, with petrol averaging 120p, and car insurance premiums very high compared to UK averages at £525.20. Try our cheaper car insurance.
Other Important Factors
One area where Peterborough performs well is in communication technology – an important thing for many UK people. It has better than average broadband speeds for the UK at 27.3Mbps, and 95% mobile phone signal coverage. Check how fast your broadband is with our broadband speed testing tool.
As with all of the region of the UK, there are positive and negative aspects to life in Peterborough. It is, however, an area that has shown dramatic statistical improvement in the past two years, and may well continue to improve its quality of life.
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 .