When it comes to the quality of life you experience, where you decide to live can be a very important factor.
With the UK being such a diverse place, there are big differences in the local economies, job markets and general level of convenience depending on where you are, so it can pay off to do some research if you are looking to move.
To help with that, we have created uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index – the result of a highly detailed statistical analysis of the UK's 138 NUTS 3 regions.
Our analysis of quality of life across the UK has enabled us to rank the cities and regions of the United Kingdom in order of the best places to live, and we can also compare the 2015 league table to our previous study which we did using 2013 data to see how things have shifted over time.
West Lothian in Eastern Scotland is a region that has risen up the table a fair amount since 2013.
Where it was in 125th place out of 138, and therefore one of the 20 worst places to live in the UK in 2013, based on our new study using 2015 data it is now at 79th place on the table – not enough to put it in the top half, but an improvement of 46 places.
Here are some of the statistics for West Lothian in 2015:
West Lothian has very good employment rates, with 77% of the resident population in this region employed in 2015. 42% of people work standard full time hours in West Lothian, but a reasonably high 25% are shown to regularly work over 45 hours a week, which is seen an indicator of poorer quality of life due to a bad work life balance.
Incomes are above average in West Lothian, with the gross weekly income in 2015 at £90.60 per person.
By overall UK standards houses are fairly cheap in West Lothian, with a 2015 house price average of £124,995. Rental prices are also comparatively low at £60 per person, per week.
Life expectancy in West Lothian is very unusual statistically in that women are only expected to live one year longer than men – in just about all other regions the difference is 3-5 years. Male life expectancy is 79, and female 80.
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 West Lothian is fairly average, with a weekly grocery shop for a West Lothian household in 2015 coming to £55. Petrol prices are above average at 119p, however, though car insurance premiums are cheap by UK standards, as they are in most Scottish regions, at £343.20.
Other Important Factors
West Lothian does well on mobile phone coverage, with 98% of the area included in the statistical region able to receive a network signal. West Lothian's broadband speeds are reasonable but not great at 22.2Mbps on average in 2015.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
West Lothian is an area that has shown improvement for quality of life over the past two years, and if this trend continues it may push its way into the top half of the table in the not too distant future!
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 .