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:
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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 .