The best city for living standards in the UK is...

22 October 2013

Whatever you thought was the best city for living standards in the UK, think again. It’s Bristol.

quality of living indexA new survey for has put the UK’s largest 12 cities in order, calculating an index of living conditions in order to find the best place to live, particularly considering the current immediate past recession.

The items included in the index included average salary, unemployment levels, the state of the housing market, any rise in disposable income, any increase in cost of living and general life satisfaction. To take account of the changing priorities since the halcyon days of 2007, disposable income, unemployment and housing market figures had extra weighting, as it is assumed these are the things having the biggest impact on people’s lives at the moment.

And Bristol came top. The average employee salary there is £22,293 - above the UK average of £21,473, and the third highest out of the 12 largest UK cities. It also has the highest disposable income growth and one of the lowest unemployment rates at 8%.

Edinburgh was second, with the second highest average salary of £24,628 and the lowest unemployment rate out of all cities at 6.7%. This compares with an unemployment rate of 11.5  in Glasgow who were languishing down in 9th place. Edinburgh also had the top overall life satisfaction score and has a weekly cost of living almost £30 lower than the UK average of £401.10.

London only reached 7th place for quality of life, while Bradford came out as the hardest place to make a living, followed by Sheffield. Manchester and Birmingham came 6th and 10th respectively. Birmingham is still better though.

So Bristol is the place to be, a result which many people who have been to Bristol might find surprising. Given the survey has only looked at our largest cities, is comparing average data really worthwhile? After all, someone living in Peckham might have an entirely different time of it to someone living in Kensington. Is Bristol just the city with the smallest range of incomes and circumstances or is it really the best place in the UK to get on in life?


  • klingelton
    Liverpool... 4th... really?
  • Old G.
    That's the highest they've finished in a long time. Guarantees European competition next season so don't knock it.
  • Alexis
    Another MoneySupermarket press release? No matter you could rank these places in a thousand ways that nobody gives a toss about.
  • shiftynifty
    What is living standards...everyone is different ...Bristol v Bradford as quoted someone living in Bradford might have an entirely high standard of living to someone living in Bristol...
  • badger
    Big up for Birmingham from me. Big down for Sheffield though.
  • Mr T.
    No Aberdeen? All that oil, property boom and good levels of employment. Oh, and as many sheep to shag as you want.
  • Mr T.
    Ah, 12 largest...
  • Size M.
    Sadly Aberdeen was hobbled by its large number of ginger people.
  • Andy A.
    lol - have you been to Bristol - its a shithole!
  • Nick M.
    Andy Andy , Bristol is not a shithole. Where do you come from btw? You can have a go at this survey but Bristol is at or near the top of every UK quality of life survey over the past decade and I doubt if these are all wrong. It is a beautiful city with some not so beautiful areas - as you'd expect. Every city has its attractions but this is about a wide range of indicators.
  • Andy A.
  • Bogbrush
    lol, compared to almost everywhere else on that list bristol is definitely not a shithole.

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