If you are looking for the best places to live in the UK, uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index is a study that can provide some great insight, listing all of the UK's 138 statistical regions from best to worst based on real, official 2015 data.
You can also compare it to our results from the same study in 2013, to see how each region is changing.
Stoke-on-Trent in the West Midlands of England is one of the statistical regions that has climbed up significantly in the rankings since 2013, by a huge 68 places. It was our 108th best place to live in 2013, but based on the 2015 index is now the 83rd best – still in the bottom half of the table, but vastly improving.
Here are some of the statistics relating to quality of life in Stoke-on-Trent in 2015:
The Stoke-on-Trent region has a reasonably low rate of overall employment, with 68% employed at all. However, it does well for full time workers with a higher than average 51% in full time jobs. It also has a low number of people working over 45 hours a week (a sign of a bad work life balance and therefore lesser quality of life) at just 19%.
Incomes are pretty average in this region, with the average Stoke-on-Trent individual's gross weekly income in 2015 at £449. It has, however, very low disposable income by UK standards with the average household in Stoke-on-Trent having only £13,586 available as disposable income in 2015.
Houses are among the lowest in the country, with Stoke-on-Trent being one of the few places a house costs less than £100k, with the average house in this statistical region selling in 2015 for £95k.
In Stoke-on-Trent, life expectancy is slightly low compared to average ages for England, though higher than some of the places in the UK as a whole (particularly in Scotland, which does badly for life expectancy), at 77 for men and 81 for 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 costs are on the lower end of average in Stoke-on-Trent with a weekly grocery shop for food and non-alcoholic drinks for a household coming to £54 in 2015. Petrol prices are on the high end of average at 118p, however car insurance is more expensive than in many parts of England at £540.80.
Other Important Factors
Stoke-on-Trent enjoys 99% mobile phone network coverage, and average broadband speeds are 26.1Mbps, which is not among the highest, but reasonably good. This means Stoke-on-Trent scores well for people who prioritise the availability of technology services when they are thinking about what they need for good quality of life.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
When it comes down to wellbeing and quality of life, you will discover a good deal of variation located within England, Scotland, Wales and NI. While Stoke-on-Trent has some positives like low house prices and reasonable incomes, negatives like low disposable income and low overall employment keep it from making it out of the bottom half of the table in 2015.
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 .