Bradford and Hull have been rated the worst places to live in the UK, according to new figures from the UK Quality of Life Index 2015. The figures indicated that a combination of low disposable income, high rent and crowded schools were responsible for the two regions ranking poorly.
People in Bradford have the lowest disposable household incomes of £13,654 a year, according to the report published by uSwitch.com. This contrasts with the fact that residents of Bradford pay one of the highest average rents of £92.60 per week. Employment rates stand low at 65%, alongside an equally low life expectancy of 77 years for men and 81 years for women. Bradford is also reported to have crowded primary schools, and at secondary level only 44% of students achieve five GCSEs with grades between A to C.
Edinburgh was listed as the best place to live in the UK, with low crime rates, high wages and affordable living costs. In addition, more than half of Scottish regions surveyed had improved their Quality of Life ranking since 2013, with the top seven biggest regional climbers all being in Scotland.
"What this report reveals is the vast differences in the quality of life that many people across the UK are experiencing," said Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com. "Despite a buoyant UK economy, millions of people in this country aren't feeling the benefits. We shouldn't kid ourselves that it's getting better for everyone out there."
Robinson pointed out that there are millions of British households facing financial pressures as "wages barely cover higher living costs". She also noted that due to the possibility of rising interest rates, it was likely that the current financial pressures would continue for many house owners in the UK.
Further information from the index revealed that West London is Britain's richest region, with people earning an average full time salary of £35,464 and having an average gross disposable household income of £39,602, which is more than three times higher than that of people in Leicester and Nottingham. Liverpool was listed as the having the lowest rate of employment in the UK at 59%.
"It's more important than ever that households take an honest look at their household budgets and see if there are savings that can be made," said Robinson. "Simply by switching energy suppliers on a regular basis, hundreds of pounds could be shaved off the annual bill. Our quality of life is important and even minor changes could have a positive impact on our standard of living."