There are a lot of very different places to live in the UK, and if you want the best quality of life it is important to choose where you move to carefully.
Different people at different stages of life place their priorities in terms of what constitutes good quality of life in a different order, but most will agree that a good balance between the money you have coming in and the money you need to spend on essentials is an important thing.
Then there are other considerations like your access to the services you care about most, like high speed broadband or mobile phone network coverage.
In uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index study, we have analysed all 138 of the UK's NUTS 1 statistical regions, and we have used a range of information including employment figures and living costs to work out how each region ranks.
This is the latest version of this study, with the previous analysis being done in 2013, so we are also able to see where a given location has significantly moved up or down in the rankings.
Surrey narrowly missed out on being one of our top 10 places to live in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, coming in at 11th. With good proximity to London and all its services it is clear that Surrey has a lot to offer, but what are the stats that helped it place so high in our table?
One issue lots of us in the UK believe to be central in support of satisfaction and quality of life is whether work is readily available. In Surrey work is not so hard to come by with 76% having a job.
As you might expect from somewhere so close to London with a large commuter population, Surrey has one of the highest average incomes in all of the 138 NUTS 1 statistical regions in the UK.
House prices in Surrey are very high, with the average coming in at £350,000 or close to it. This may be why Surrey doesn't rank higher, even though incomes are high.
Life expectancy is higher than average for the UK with men reaching an average age of 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.
As you might expect in a high income area, cost of living is high with average food expenses at a very high £63, however the high wages and other positive factors counter this.
Other Important Factors
In consideration of wellbeing and quality of life, there is without a doubt lots of diversity within England, Scotland, Wales and NI, with Surrey appearing, in 2015, to be one of the better places to live for a number of statistical reasons. While higher costs may be off putting to some, high earning potential, a good job market, and great amenities can make Surrey a very attractive prospect, especially for working age people looking to move.
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 .