Back in 2013, uSwitch first performed a detailed analysis of quality of life in the UK based on a wide range of data for each of the UK's statistical regions.
The UK has 138 low tier statistical regions (called NUTS 3 regions), and using data on things like house prices, employment rates, and the cost of things like food, petrol and insurance – as well as some other data like mobile phone signal coverage and local broadband speeds – we did a detailed statistical analysis that allowed us to rank them from best to worst for quality of life.
Now, we have carried out the same study, called uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, using data from 2015 in order to update the rankings of the 138 cities and regions and see how things have changed.
The city of Swindon in Wiltshire is an NUTS 3 region that has dropped in the rankings since 2013, going from 19th to 27th. While this still makes it one of the top 30 best places to live in the UK, it has been surpassed by other regions in the past two years, dropping those eight places.
Here are some stats for Swindon in 2015:
Employment rates are a factor a lot of people deem very key to quality of life, as it indicates that a region is prosperous if it has good employment – making this a desirable trait even for those not looking for work themselves. Swindon has a good employment rate at 77% of the population in work, and 46% working full time. A less encouraging quality of life indicator, however, is the number of people with a poor work life balance, working over 45 hours per week. This figure is fairly high in Swindon, at 26% of residents.
Both gross weekly income and disposable incomes in Swindon are high, with the average person having a gross income of £524.30 per week and the average household enjoying £17,365 of disposable money for the year. If you want to check you’re on the cheapest energy deal head over to our energy comparison page
While incomes are quite high, house prices are fairly low for the South of England, averaging £165,000 in 2015. Rent however is on the high side for our data, at £79 per week.
The life expectancy in Swindon is in line with averages for England, at 79 for men and 83 for women.
Swindon has a moderately high cost of living in terms of food, with the average weekly household shopping bill coming to £60. Car insurance premiums are also moderately high at just under £500. Petrol, however, is cheaper than average here, at 115p, so it isn't all bad news for drivers.
Other Important Factors
Swindon benefits from good average broadband speeds of 27.7, and 97% mobile phone signal coverage. Check your broadband’s speed and accuracy with our broadband speed test.
As with all the locations we looked at Swindon has pros and cons, however with good incomes and reasonable house prices it can be a good place to consider for people looking for good quality of life in the South of England.
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 .