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Cuilcagh Mountain Marble Arch Caves Geopark Nothern Ireland

West & South of Northern Ireland is the 5th worst place to live in the UK 2015

Quality of life can be determined by all kinds of factors, and of course, people have differing priorities when it comes to the factors that matter most to them.

In the uSwitch Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index, we have compared 138 different areas of the United Kingdom, using data on everything from house prices and income through to broadband speeds and mobile phone network coverage, to determine the best and worst places to live in the UK in 2015.

Scoring very low on a number of the factors we took into consideration, the West and South of Northern Ireland has ranked in 134th of all of the cities and regions in our study.

This makes it the 5th worst place to live in the UK, according to our statistics. Read on for some of the reasons why the West and South of Northern Ireland performs so badly:

Employment

Workwise, the West and Southern region of Northern Ireland has a bad situation at the moment, with only 69% of people there currently employed.

Additionally, 23% of people are working more than 45 hours a week, which is deemed to be a big indicator of poor quality of life, where people have to work more than is healthy.

Income

Incomes in this part of Northern Ireland are low by UK standards, with the gross weekly average income in 2015 at £421.14.

Additionally, households have access to a comparatively low amount of disposable income, with only £13,357 per household per year to spend. Low disposable income has a knock on effect on the whole economy of an area.

House Prices

House prices are very low in this area, which may make it a good place to buy if you are not concerned about the work situation, perhaps if you are retired or run a business.

Average house prices in the South and West of Northern Ireland are £83,876.36. Rent, however, is among the highest in our list of the worst places to live in the UK, at £85.77 per week, which is bad news for people who are unable to buy.

Home values in Fermanagh

Life Expectancy

Life expectancies are fairly average in this area, so this is not so much a factor in its listing as one of the 10 worst places. Men have a life expectancy of 78 and women 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.

Living Costs

Living costs are unusually high in this region compared with others with similar income and employment rates.

Dual fuel bills, for example, are on average £1,850.30, over £600 more than Blackpool, the next place on our list of the worst 10 regions to live in, and a weekly household food shop is £62.60.

If you want to check you’re on the cheapest energy deal head over to our energy comparison page.

Other Important Factors

Another factor to consider is poor communication technology. This region of Northern Ireland has just 55% mobile phone coverage, and unimpressive average broadband speeds of 19.6Mbps.

Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.

This area may well be a good choice for some people, like retirees, but for working people or those who rely on technology, it is definitely one of the worst places to live in the UK 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.

Compare energy

Compare broadband

Compare credit cards

Compare mortgages

Compare car insurance

Compare mobiles

Place to Live 2015 — Where did your region rank?

2015 Rank Region Rank Change from 2013
1 Edinburgh +97
2 Solihull -1
3 Hertfordshire No Change
4 Northumberland +4
5 South Lanarkshire +55
6 Berkshire +3
7 Darlington +18
8 North Lanarkshire +98
9 York +6
10 Inverclyde, East Renfrewshire & Renfrewshire +102
11 Surrey -6
12 South Nottinghamshire -8
13 Central Bedfordshire +18
14 Wirral +13
15 Outer London - South +3
16 Warwickshire -10
17 Bath & North East Somerset; North Somerset & South Gloucestershire +3
18 Hampshire -5
19 Orkney Islands +86
20 Cheshire East -8
21 Tyneside -7
22 West Cumbria +41
23 Derby +14
24 Cornwall & Isles of Scilly +42
25 East Dunbartonshire, West Dunbartonshire; Helensburgh & Lomond +59
26 North Yorkshire -24
27 Swindon -8
28 Coventry +36
29 Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire +46
30 Calerdale & Kirklees +12
31 Worcestshire +13
32 Warrington -4
33 Outer London North & West +22
34 Leicestershire & Rutland +6
35 Birmingham +38
36 Falkirk +75
37 Sunderland -11
38 East Lothian & Midlothian +90
39 Cambridgshire -9
40 Telford & Wrekin +1
41 Hartlepool & Stockton-on-Tees +14
42 Cheshire West -26
43 Durham -19
44 Buckinghamshire -33
45 Gwynedd +81
46 Bournemouth & Poole +34
47 Bristol +25
48 Sheffield -19
49 Walsall +41
50 West Northamptonshire +11
51 Glasgow +84
52 Flintshire & Wrexham +60
53 Oxfordshire -43
54 Scottish Borders +83
55 Gloucestershire -48
56 Sefton -8
57 Staffordshire -19
58 Conwy & Denbighshire +71
59 Plymouth +30
60 Greater Manchester North -11
61 [joint] Leeds -26
61 [joint] Perth & Kinross and Sterling +41
63 Southend-on-Sea +22
64 South & West Derbyshire -44
65 Portsmouth -14
66 Dorset -23
67 Peterborough +52
68 Essex -15
69 Shropshire -33
70 Medway -19
71 West Sussex -48
72 Swansea +37
73 Bedford -27
74 Herefordshire +4
75 Outer London - North & East +8
76 North Northamptonshire +1
77 Wolverhampton +2
78 Wiltshire -44
79 West Lothian +46
80 East Derbyshire +17
81 South Ayrshire +26
82 Isle of Anglesey +6
83 Stoke-on-Trent +25
84 Inner London - East +15
85 Angus & Dundee City +46
86 Wakefield -55
87 Inner London - West +14
88 Cardiff & Vale of Glamorgan +27
89 East Riding of Yorkshire -73
90 Powys -21
91 East Merseyside -20
92 North Nottingham -5
93 Luton +23
94 Outer Belfast -33
95 Lincolnshire -45
96 East Cumbria -31
97 Milton Keynes -40
98 South West Wales -6
99 Southampton +1
100 Greater Manchester South -42
101 Leicester +21
102 Nottingham +8
103 Kent -58
104 Belfast -82
105 Norfolk -29
106 Lancashire -73
107 Lochaber, Skye & Lochalsh, Arran & Cumbrae, Argyll & Bute +29
108 Caithness & Sutherland; Ross & Cromarty +26
109 Brighton & Hove -35
110 Liverpool -16
111 Suffolk -44
112 Shetland Islands -31
113 Thurrock -22
114 Bridgend & North Port Talbot -18
115 Blackburn With Darwen -1
116 Iverness & Nairn & Moray; Badenoch & Strathspey +16
117 East Sussex -47
118 East Ayrshire & North Aryshire (Mainland) +20
119 Torbay +4
120 North & North East Lincolnshire -73
121 Monmouthshire & Newport -3
122 Barnsley, Doncaster & Rotherham -68
123 Clackmannashire & Fife +10
124 Isle of Wight -20
125 [joint] Gwent Valleys -1
125 [joint] Somerset -43
127 Dumfries &Galloway No Change
128 Sandwell -25
129 South Teesside -36
130 East of Northern Ireland -91
131 Central Valleys -10
132 Devon -46
133 Blackpool -16
134 West & South of Northern Ireland -75
135 Eilean Siar (Western Isles) -15
136 North of Northern Ireland -68
137 Kingston Upon Hull -7
138 Bradford -43

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 .