Which UK city has the best quality of life?

13th November 2015


If you want a better life then move to Edinburgh, which has been rated as having the best quality of life out of the UK’s 12 largest cities.


According to MoneySuperMarket’s Quality of Living Index, which assess the UK’s 12 largest cities on factors such as house price and rent affordability, salaries, disposable income, cost of living, unemployment rates and life satisfaction, Edinburgh comes top.


The Scottish city scored above average on almost every measure, with the lowest unemployment rate (dropping from 6.6% last year to 5.5% this year), and residents taking home the higher average annual salary outside of London at £25,543, while benefiting from lower cost of living. The average household spends £386.50 a week compared with a UK average of £426.30.


While more prosperous cities usually suffer from high housing costs, Edinburgh has high salaries without housing costs increasing to the same degree. The average asking price of rent in the city is £1,099, accounting for 52% of annual salary. This is a lot less than rent in London which, at £2,352 per month, takes up 93% of average London salary.


Belfast comes in second place in the index because it has the second lowest unemployment rate at 6.5%, down from 6.8% last year. The Northern Irish capital also has the highest life satisfaction score at 7.65.


The Welsh capital Cardiff takes bronze thanks to its low cost of living, with an average weekly household expenditure of £384.60 against the £426.30 average, as well as an above average amount of disposable income – £16,520 per head, up from £15,999 last year.


Kevin Pratt, consumer finance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: ‘Anyone who lives in or who has visited Edinburgh won’t be surprise to learn that it has clinched the top spot in our Quality of Living survey.


‘It is a beautiful city with stunning architecture and a thriving cultural scene and, in addition, it has over the last year benefited from lower unemployment and lower cost of living. People in the Scottish capital have also seen a rise in disposable income and salaries over the last 12 months, propelling the city to the top of the list of best places to live in the UK.’


He said overall the UK’s largest cities perform well in the index and life satisfaction scores are generally up but ‘in some cases salaries have fallen slightly and the cost of living has risen, hitting some cities hard’.


Quality of Index: where does your city rank?


1. Edinburgh

2. Belfast

3. Cardiff

4. Leeds

5. Sheffield

6. Bradford

7. Bristol

8. Glasgow

9. Manchester

10. Liverpool

11. London

12. Birmingham

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