Looking at the information available is a good way to compare the kind of quality of life people are enjoying in different parts of the UK right now, but it can be hard to compile all that information into a meaningful picture of the best places to live overall.
To try and give a clear view of how the 138 statistical regions of the United Kingdom compare in terms of overall quality of life, we've carried out a detailed analysis using data relating to all different aspects that can contribute to good (or poor) quality of living.
We've used that data to create uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index 2015. Using this index, we have ranked the regions according to quality of life from 1-138.
Because we performed a similar study in 2013, our findings based on 2015's data can also be compared, to give a picture of how each region has changed in that period.
The statistical regions of Telford and Wrekin in the West Midlands is one of the unusual places in our study that has hardly moved at all between the 2013 and 2015 tables, gaining just one place to go from 41st to 40th. These are some of its stats:
This region has a reasonably high rate of employment, with 72% employed overall and 47% in full time jobs. Employment stats are important to quality of life even for people who don't need to find a job in the location, because high employment leads to other benefits like a stronger local economy and better prosperity.
Incomes are fairly average in Telford and Wrekin, with the gross weekly income of the average resident in 2015 at £482.60 per week.
House prices are quite low, though not exceptionally so by UK wide standards. The average house in the Telford and Wrekin statistical region in 2015 sold for £145,000. Rental prices are fairly average for the UK, at £72 per week per person on average.
Life expectancies in Telford and Wrekin are pretty much in line with averages for England, though lower than a lot of the places on our quality of life league table. Men have a life expectancy of 78 here, and women 82. If you compare this to 39th place Cambridgeshire which has male life expectancy at 81 and female at 85, you can see there is actually quite a big difference.
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 Telford and Wrekin with a weekly grocery shop for a household coming to £54 in 2015. Petrol prices are also average at 117p, however car insurance is more costly than average at £540.80.
Even though, the insurance premiums are high, there are certain steps you can take to find the best car insurance deals for you.
Other Important Factors
When it comes to technology and communication services, Telford and Wrekin has excellent average broadband speeds of 28.3Mbps, and 98% mobile phone coverage.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
As with anywhere else in the UK there are pros and cons to living in this region, however it retains its place in the top third of our table.
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 .