When you are looking for a place to relocate to, it can be a good idea to compare the statistics for your potential target locations to see what you can expect in terms of quality of life, and uSwitch's Best Places to Live in The UK Quality of Life Index study aims to help you do just that.
By analysing data on all different aspects of life from the cost of a weekly shop to employment rates, we've been able to give each of the UK's 138 statistical regions a ranking in terms of quality of life.
The last time we did this analysis was in 2013, so this study using 2015 data also shows which areas have improved, or declined.
Wirral in the North West is an area that has moved up in the rankings to number 14, making it one of our top 20 best places to live for quality of life in the UK. Here are some of the reasons why:
A factor many of us think is central pertaining to making a place good to live in is whether work is readily available.
The employment situation in the Wirral area is an interesting one, because while it has low overall employment at 68% - the lowest in our top 20, the percentage of people in full time employment of between 35-45 hours a week, which is what most working age people are looking for, is actually higher than almost all of the other top 20 places at 50%.
Pay in the Wirral region is not exceptional but sits fairly well for the North West region, at £485.60 as the average gross weekly income.
Wirral benefits from low house prices, with the average home in 2015 costing £140,000. Rent was rated at £72 per week, which actually is not as low as you might expect with those house prices, so it could be a better place to move to for buyers than renters.
Life expectancy is fairly average for the UK, at 78 for men and 82 for women. Remember that statistically women live longer than men just about everywhere in the world!
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.
Food costs are comparatively low among our top 20 regions, at £53 per week for the average home. Petrol is slightly higher than in some of these places at 117p, and car insurance is also notably high for our top 20 at £561.60 on average, so it may not be the best place to own a car.
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 your communication technology is important to you, then Wirral can offer you 99% mobile phone network coverage, but the broadband speeds are fairly low for the UK at 23.4Mps.
Use our broadband postcode checker to see which deals and what speeds are on offer in your area.
These stats show there are definitely positives and negatives to living in this region, but that it could be a good option for home owners who don't drive and want to work full time.
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 .