We have taken a wide selection of information about different aspects of life that have an impact on quality of living, and analysed them across the 138 NUTS 3 statistical regions of the United Kingdom to produce uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index.
Our analysis enables us to rank the 138 regions in order from best to worst, helping you see where your current location fits in or, if you are looking to move, giving some useful insight into what you can expect in terms of quality of life in places you are considering.
Additionally, because this is the second time we have performed this research – the first being in 2013 – we are now able to show how the shape of quality of life in the UK has changed between the 2013 study and the new one using 2015 data.
Sunderland in the North East of England is a city that has fallen in the table somewhat since 2013. It held 26th place on the original table produced by the 2013 analysis, but in 2015 it drops to 37th.
Here are some of the stats for Sunderland, which were used in this analysis:
Sunderland has fairly low overall employment compared with the majority of the UK, with just 65% of its residents in work. This is not as low as some other cities like Birmingham and the South of Greater Manchester – both a 62% - or Liverpool at 59%, but is significantly below average in England in 2015.
Income in Sunderland is in line with UK averages and the average gross weekly income in 2015 for a Sunderland resident was £482.30. However, Sunderland has a below average amount of disposable income per household at just £13,556.
Sunderland has low house prices comparative to other parts of the UK, with the average 2015 house price at £115k. Rent is also on the low side of average at £68 per week.
Sunderland has a below average life expectancy, for both men and women. Life expectancy in Sunderland is 77 for men and 81 for women, among the lowest in England and also in line with Scottish life expectancy which is statistically lower on the whole.
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 weekly household food expenditure in Sunderland is well below average at £49 per week, and petrol is also cheaper than almost anywhere in the country at 116p. Car insurance premiums are well below average at £395.20, and home insurance too at £208, meaning Sunderland has a statistically low cost of living by UK standards.
Other Important Factors
Sunderland enjoys 99% mobile phone coverage, and average broadband speeds are 25Mbps, which is fairly good. This means it scores well for people who prioritise technology services.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
Sunderland definitely has pros and cons, with low employment but also, low house prices and a low cost of living, as well as good services.
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 .