If you are looking for a place to relocate to, you can choose anything from a major world city to a peaceful, idyllic village, or even a remote island, all without going outside of the UK.
However, with this diversity comes some big differences in the quality of life you can expect in different regions, and it pays to understand what different regions currently have to offer before making your choice.
To help identify the best places to live in the UK right now, uSwitch has, for the second time, analysed a wide range of data from all 138 UK statistical regions, and created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – a ranking of all the UK's cities and regions according to overall quality of life, derived from this data.
The last time we did this study was in 2013, so now, as well as being able to rank the regions, we can also see where some places have improved (or not).
Walsall is the West Midlands is an area that has improved on our index quite dramatically since 2013, going up from 90th place to 49th – a movement of 41 places in the right direction, now placing it in the top half of the table.
Here are some of the statistics for Walsall:
Employment overall is not especially great in Walsall, with 67% of people employed. However, an above average 48% of people are in full time employment, which for many people is actually the more important statistic. Also, only 20% of people in Walsall work over 45 hours per week, which is low by overall UK standards.
Working this many hours regularly is seen as 'overworking' and is a sign of poor quality of life, so this is a good stat for Walsall.
Incomes are fairly average in Walsall when compared to the UK as a whole. The average gross weekly income in 2015 was £477. However, Walsall does have very low disposable income per household, at just £12,613 – well below most other regions in the top half of our table.
By overall UK standards houses are fairly cheap in Walsall, with a 2015 house price average of £135k.
Life expectancy is 78 for men and 83 for women. This is unusual because it is a five year gap between men and women, where almost everywhere else has a four year gap.
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 is about average for the UK in Walsall with a weekly grocery shop costing £55. Car insurance is, however, very expensive at £540.80, though petrol is fairly average at 117p.
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
If you value communication technology as a big part of your quality of life, then Walsall does quite well. It has 99% mobile phone coverage, and fairly good broadband speeds of 26.3Mbps.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
Walsall has made a big leap up the table since 2013, and is now in the top half of uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index.
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 .