Tuesday, 07 April 2015 13:43

Best rural places to live revealed

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Best rural places to live revealed

THE rural places with the best quality of life in Britain are revealed in a survey examining a range of factors.

The 2015 Halifax Rural Quality of Life Survey tracks where living standards are highest in Great Britain.

It ranks local performance across key indicators covering the labour market, the housing market, the environment, education, health and personal well-being.

The survey is based on data at local authority district (LAD) level across 121 rural local authorities.

Residents of Rutland enjoy the best quality of life of any rural area in Great Britain, according to the survey.

This is the first time Rutland has come top, although prior to this the East Midlands had made the top ten on three occasions, coming second in 2014, and seventh in both 2013 and 2012.

Rutland residents tend to be fit and well, with more than 96% of inhabitants reporting good or fairly good health.

Employment is high with four out of five of 16-64 year olds in occupation and many residents enjoying high incomes with weekly average earnings of £623.

Rutland has one of the lowest crime rates, a relatively good climate with less rainfall than the national average and more weekly sunshine hours

Some 98% of all households have a good level of broadband access – compared to 87% for the Britain as a whole.

Importantly, the ONS survey on personal well-being indicates the Rutland adult population is among the most happy, satisfied and content in Britain.

On the downside, however, the cost of living in Rutland is higher than in many other parts of Britain.

An average house in Rutland costs 6.7 times the average annual pre-tax local income, compared to the national average of 6.2.

Halifax mortgages director Craig McKinlay said: “Taking a wide range of economic and social factors into account residents here can now lay claim to having the highest standard of living in rural Britain.

"In terms of personal wellbeing and general good health, Rutland residents score among the highest in Great Britain.

"And while house prices relative to earnings are above the rural average, Rutland still performs strongly in terms of average weekly earnings and a high employment rate."

Three out of five top 50 areas for the best places to live are in southern England.

The top 50 rural places to live in Britain are again dominated by the South East with fourteen districts found in this region, followed by East of England which claims ten of the top 50 spots.

Areas from outside the south in the top 50 besides Rutland include South Northamptonshire (4th), the Orkney Islands (21st), Hambleton in North Yorkshire (22nd) and Malvern Hills (25th).

Southern areas tend to receive higher ratings for weekly earnings, the weather, health, and life expectancy.

Northern areas score well on education in terms of grades and smaller class sizes, lower house prices in relation to earnings, and both lower traffic flows and population densities.

For further information about the survey, click here.

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