When you are looking to move, it can really pay off to have access to some research that can help show you where you might find the best cost of living, opportunities, work life balance and general quality of life.
To that end, we've created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – a ranking of all of the 138 different regions used for statistics gathering in the UK according to an index of overall quality of life, which we have derived from official stats on the things that matter most, like house prices, employment, living expenses, and convenience.
There are some surprises in our findings, and they may prove useful if you are trying to weigh up the pros and cons of different areas you are considering as a new home.
Thurrock in the East of England is a region of the UK that has seen some statistical losses for quality of life since our previous index, which was in 2013, dropping down 22 places from number 91 in our league table of the UK's best places to live in 2013 to 113 in 2015.
Below are some of the stats for Thurrock that were used to calculate its position in uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index for 2015:
The employment rates in Thurrock are moderately high, with 73% of the population in employment and a higher than average 46% working what are judged as normal full time hours of 35 to 45 hours per week.
Incomes are fairly average for the people of Thurrock, with the 2015 average gross weekly income per person at £462.30. This is actually quite low compared to other parts of the East of England region, however.
House prices are quite high in the statistical region of Thurrock, even for the fairly expensive East of England region, with the average house in 2015 costing £192,500.
The average life expectancy from birth in Thurrock is in line with overall averages for England, and for the UK as a whole for men at 79. For women it is also average at four years higher, at 83.
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 cost of living in Thurrock is fairly high by UK standards, though similar to other regions in the East and South East of England. A weekly grocery shop for a Thurrock household for food and non-alcoholic drinks in 2015 costs £60. Petrol prices are average however at 117p in Thurrock in 2015.
Other Important Factors
Thurrock has particularly good mobile phone coverage with 99% of the region able to get signal. The average 2015 broadband speeds in Thurrock are higher than average too, at 28.5Mbps.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
Thurrock has a few positives like excellent technology and good employment, but due to things like its mediocre income and high cost of living it still winds up in the bottom third of our list of the best places to live in the United Kingdom 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 .