While the UK may not look very big on a map, it certainly has a lot of diversity, with everything from major cities through to green, rural areas and beautiful coastline.
As well as being very diverse in terms of landscape and how built up places are, the UK also has a lot of differences from one place to another when it comes to things like income and the cost of living.
Whether you are looking to move and want to find a place that offers everything you need, or are just interested to know how where you live compares to other parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index is a study uSwitch has done to try and analyse quality of life across all of the UK's 138 statistical regions, and then rank them in order from best to worst for quality of life, and it makes for interesting reading.
As well as ranking places based on data from 2015, we have also been able to compare this to the results of a similar study we did in 2013, allowing us to see where places have improved or declined in the last two years.
The Scottish Borders statistical region is one of the most improved in terms of overall quality of life in the UK, rising up a massive 83 places since 2013, to take it from 137th – the second worst place to live in the UK – to 54th, placing it in the top half of the table.
Here are some statistics for the Scottish Borders that were included in the study:
This region has above average employment, with 78% of the people who live there in work. 43% of people in the Scottish Borders statistical region work full time hours of between 35 and 35 hours per week, though an additional 28% are considered to be 'overworking', working over 45 hours on a regular basis.
The Scottish Borders region has fairly low incomes with the individual gross weekly income in 2015 at £456. They do, however, have access to reasonably good disposable income by UK standards with the average household in 2015 having £17,953 available for the year.
House prices in this region are on the low side, averaging £140k in 2015.
Scotland on the whole has a lower life expectancy than most of the UK and this region is no exception, with men expected to reach 77 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.
The cost of feeding your household in the Scottish Borders is fairly low at £55 per week for food and non alcoholic beverages. Car insurance is cheaper than average too, at £343.20.
Other Important Factors
The statistics for communication in the Scottish Borders are very poor, with only 58% of the region getting a mobile phone signal, and very low average broadband speeds of 13.1Mbps.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
This is a region that has improved a lot and has some strong positives like good employment and low cost of living, though it also has negative aspects like poor technology and fairly low incomes.
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 .