The UK is a hugely diverse place, with everything from remote islands through to major global cities, so as you might expect, there are big differences in other things too like employment rates, incomes, and of course the cost of living – all of which give people different standards of living depending on where they are.
In order to get a good picture of where the best places to live in the UK are right now, uSwitch have done a detailed and complex data analysis of official statistics from all of the UK's 138 NUTS 3 statistical regions, which cover all of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Using our analysis we have created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – a league table ranking all of the UK's regions and cities from best to worst in terms of quality of life.
We previously did a similar study in 2013, so now, with the updated index for 2015, we can also compare the two results and see where different regions now offer better or worse quality of life than they did two years ago.
Sheffield, in Yorkshire, is a city that has fallen down the table since 2013, going from 29th place down to 48th in 2015. This still seats it in the top half of the table, however is an indicator that it is statistically less of a good prospect for quality of life than it used to be.
Here are some of the statistics for Sheffield:
Sheffield's employment situation is fairly average for the UK, with 70% of people in work and 46% of its population working full time. One good point in Sheffield's data however is that only 19% of people 'overwork' – that is regularly working 45 hours a week or more. This is well below the national average and indicates good work life balance.
Incomes in Sheffield aren't too bad, with the gross weekly income of the average Sheffield resident in 2015 at £487.20. Disposable income, however, is below average with the average household having £14,252 to spend per year.
House prices are below average UK wide, but not especially low for the Yorkshire and the Humber region, at £133,800.
Sheffield's life expectancy is in line with UK averages with men expected to live to 79 and women 82, although interestingly this is just a three year gap, whereas in most parts of the UK there is a four year gap between men and 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.
Food bills are low in Sheffield with the weekly grocery shop for the average household costing £50. Car insurance, however, is fairly expensive by national standards at £509.60.
Even though, the insurance premiums are high, there are certain steps you can take to find the best car insurance deals for you.
Other Important Factors
Sheffield has excellent mobile phone coverage at 99%, but mediocre broadband speeds at 20.9Mbps.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
Like many places there are positive and negative aspects to Sheffield, but it does still statistically offer reasonable 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 .