Edinburgh provides the best standard of living for Briton’s over 50s claims new research

3rd April 2015


Edinburgh has been named as the top city for the over 50s in terms of living standards according to a new report from insurance provider RIAS.

The analysis from the over 50s  specialist looked at eight key factors across the UK’s 10 largest cities to determine the standard of living. These included, annual household income, monthly disposable household income, monthly household outgoings, household value of combined pension pot, life satisfaction scores, happiness scores, potential for social activity and unemployment rates.

In the group’s Over 50s Living Standards Report, Scotland’s capital came out on top scoring above average on seven out of the eight factors. It only came in below average on monthly household outgoings which were £1,191, higher than the average of £1,116.

Edinburgh also beat London to the top spot for highest annual household income whilst also registering the lowest unemployment rate. It also ranked second for highest combined pension pot value at £120,532 compared to the average across the cities of £95,615 and third highest for a monthly disposable income of £524.

In addition the analysis revealed that Yorkshire offers a haven for the UK’s over 50s with Leeds ranked second and Sheffield ranked third. Leeds ranked top in both the happiness and life satisfaction categories, while despite having a relatively low annual household income of £30,526, the over 50s in Sheffield took home the most monthly disposable income amongst the 10 at £567, and it also achieved the second highest score for happiness.

Despite being less than 50 miles away from the top rated city, Glasgow ranked near the lower end of the index after registering below average scores in six of the eight categories whilst also ranking bottom amongst the 10 cities for average disposable income at £360.

But Liverpool found itself in last place after scoring below average in seven out of the eight categories. The city not only scored lowest for happiness and life satisfaction but also had the second lowest monthly disposable income figure, at £377, whilst posting the highest unemployment rate.

Over 50s standard of living index

Top ten UK cities Standard of Living score
1. Edinburgh 0.75
2. Leeds 0.70
3. Sheffield 0.66
4. Manchester 0.59
5. Bradford 0.51
6. Bristol 0.47
7. London 0.44
8. Birmingham 0.41
9. Glasgow 0.36
10. Liverpool 0.27

London Falling

In contrast to Scotland’s capital, London came in seventh place. While the over 50s of London gained the highest household pension pot at £145,000 and the second highest annual household income at £39,735, it seems that the city ranked much lower in other important factors.

In particular London residents had the largest monthly outgoings figure, at £1,384, and ranked lowest in the potential for social activity with fellow over 50s. London also had the second lowest scores for happiness and overall life satisfaction amongst the over 50s, meaning it dropped down the overall rankings for the standard of living it could offer.

Commenting in the research Peter Corfield, managing director at RIAS said: “With Edinburgh ranking so highly across the board it’s clear to see that it deserves the top spot and is the best city amongst the UK’s largest for the over 50s to live in.

“It is interesting to see how widely the standard of living in the UK can vary for the over 50s between cities when you consider a number of factors. The next few months will see a big change in the over 50s landscape with greater pension freedoms becoming available.  While the size of people’s pension pots can have a big influence on their overall standard of living, it is important to remember other factors such as employment rates, as the over 50s continue to contribute in the work place later in life.”

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