The UK is divided up into 138 statistical regions at the lowest tier of statistics gathering on a national level.
These are called NUTS 3 regions, and can be cities, or whole counties. With uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index study, we have aimed to rank these 138 regions using a wide range of data pertaining to general quality of life, such as house prices, incomes, the cost of a weekly grocery shop, and even other non financial things like the average number of children in a class and local broadband speeds.
By doing this, we have been able to get a picture of overall quality of life in each region, and ranked them from best to worst in a league table. We have also done similar analysis in the past, and so by comparing the results we got using official data for 2015 to our 2013 study, we can also see how some regions have drastically improved and others have fallen down the table.
Plymouth in Devon is a statistical region on its own due to its size and significance as a city, and it is a region that has improved statistically since 2013, climbing 30 places on uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index to go from 89th to 59th.
Here are some of the statistics used to analyse quality of life in Plymouth in 2015:
Plymouth has pretty good employment rates, with 73% of people in work. The highest employment stats in the UK go into the 80's, and the lowest is Liverpool with 59%, so Plymouth is in a fairly average position for this.
Incomes are good in Plymouth, with the 2015 gross weekly income per person at £515.70. Disposable income is below average, however, at just £14,837 for the average Plymouth household.
House prices in the city of Plymouth are moderate, though could be considered high for the South West at an average of £158k in 2015.
The average life expectancy from birth in Plymouth is in keeping with UK average figures, with men expected to live to 78 and women 82.
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.
Plymouth shows a high cost of living, with the weekly grocery shop for a household in 2015 coming to £60. This is actually the same as in some places generally accepted to be expensive like West London, Surrey and Berkshire. Petrol prices are below average at 116p, though car insurance costs just shy of £500, so it is mixed news for motorists in Plymouth.
Other Important Factors
Plymouth has excellent statistics for communication technology, with 99% mobile phone coverage (though this is normal in statistical regions that cover just one city), and high broadband speeds averaging 31.8Mbps.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
Plymouth has pros and cons but has shown improvement, and may well continue to move up the table in future thanks to decent employment and good performance in other areas relating to general quality of life like 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 .