Knowing the information available and making comparisons is important when you are making any decision, and if you are looking to move within the UK to a new area then knowing how it stacks up in terms of quality of life can help you find the right place for you.
Back in 2013, uSwitch ran a data analysis on all 138 different statistical regions in the UK using data relevant to all kinds of factors, including everything from the cost of petrol and food to employment rates and even local broadband speeds. Recently, we repeated this study using fresh data for 2015, in order to update our rankings of the best places to live and also to be able to compare how places have changed in those two years.
West Cumbria was in 63rd place in 2013, but in uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index for 2015, it has leapt up the table to 22nd, narrowly missing a place in our top 20. Here are some of the statistics for West Cumbria:
Employment rates are key to quality of life for many people, as they not only indicate how easy it will be for you to find work if you need to, but also tell something about the prosperity of the region. In West Cumbria employment rates are not especially high at 73%, but are reasonable for the UK as a whole and for the North West region. It also appears that people here have a good work life balance with only 21% working over 45 hours per week.
Incomes in West Cumbria are pretty high, exceeding those of all of our top 20 with the exception of those in the South East of England at £596.73 gross per week for the average individual. However, disposable income is not so high compared to those ranking above West Cumbria at £16,603 for the year for a household.
House prices are low by UK standards with the average house in 2015 selling for £123,000. Rent, however, is not as low as you may expect in line with that with the average weekly rental costing £72 per person. Why not use our free mortgage calculator that helps you determine how much you could afford to borrow.
In West Cumbria life expectancy is on the lower end of our study with life expectancy for men at 78 and for women at 82.
Living in West Cumbria is a mixed bag for drivers, because while petrol prices are below average at 116p, car insurance premiums are high at on average £561.60. The weekly household food shop is fairly average for this part of the UK at £53.
Other Important Factors
One thing that may count as a negative for some in West Cumbria is its low broadband speeds, averaging just 12.4Mbps. Mobile coverage is fairly good though, with 91% of the area of the region able to get a signal. Check your broadband’s speed and accuracy with our broadband speed testing tool.
There are positive and negative aspects to living in West Cumbria, but its high incomes and low house prices may make it an appealing prospect if you are looking to move to the North West.
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 .