There are a lot of different factors that can determine whether or not somewhere is a good place to live. If you analyse the data on things that tend to matter to most people, like the cost of living, levels of employment and income, and even things that affect how convenient life is like mobile phone signal coverage and broadband speeds, there are some surprising results in terms of the cities in the UK where people experience the best quality of life.
In uSwitch's Best Places to Live in the UK Quality of Life Index, which compared over 130 UK regions and cities across a wide range of factors, Solihull rated very highly – second only to overall winner Edinburgh. This may come as a surprise to some, who may not have picked Solihull as one of the best places to live in the UK, but read on to see why Solihull performed so well in the 2015 study:
Employment is an important factor for most people who are looking for a good place to move to, as even if you do not need to find work yourself due to being retired or owning a business, it reflects on the economic situation in a region.
In Solihull in 2015, 74% of people are employed, with 45% working standard full time hours of 35-45 hours per week. There is also a good 'work-life balance' for the full time workers of Solihull, with only 21% of people working more than 45 hours per week – a good measure when it comes to quality of life.
The gross weekly income on average in Solihull is £519.40 per week, and the average household enjoys £18,721 in disposable income per year – both significantly above UK averages.
The average house price of £220k in Solihull is also below the national average, as are rental costs for those who aren't in the market to buy, at £76.66 per week – which is even lower than the weekly rent in our top ranking UK city of Edinburgh!
Life expectancy is higher than average in Solihull, with women living to 85 on average and men to 80. Of course, life expectancy figures can only tell us so much about the general health and wellbeing of people in an area as so many people move around in their lifetime, but it is another positive in Solihull's favour!
The cost of food in Solihull is below average, with an average household's weekly food shop coming in at £53.90. Dual fuel bills are at an average of £1,232.88 – which is quite low – and for insurance people in Solihull also enjoy good average rates - £244.40 for home insurance and £540.80 for their cars. Check today to see if you could be paying less for your home and car insurance.
Other Important Factors
Solihull is also excellent for modern conveniences – there is 99% mobile signal coverage, and super high broadband speeds of – on average – 30.2mbps. How does your broadband speeds compare to the national average? Test them with our broadand speed checker.
Of course, how much each of these factors matters to you will depend on your own circumstances, but it is clear to see that Solihull has a lot of positives in terms of economic situation and general 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 .