MAJOR BOOST TO THE CAMPAIGN FOR A RURAL STRATEGY:
The Independent Food, Farming & Countryside Commission hosted by the RSA in its report launched on Tuesday 16th July ‘Our Future in the Land’ has added its voice to the calls by the RSN and the House of Lords Select Committee for a comprehensive Rural Strategy (more to follow)
Rural residents save more money than their urban counterparts, reveals a survey.
People in the countryside are also putting away more in relation to their earnings, according to latest research from Halifax.
Savers in rural areas have an average balance of £9,202, almost £1,300 – or 16% more than savers in urban areas (£7,906).
Rural savers have an average savings balance equivalent to 36% of their gross annual earnings: 4% more than urban savers.
Across all regions in Great Britain, rural savers have a larger average savings balance than urban areas savers.
Halifax economist Martin Ellis said: "Some of the rural areas of Britain have an older population profile, many attracting relatively affluent retirees.
"These savers have had a long working life to build up their savings pot compared to younger savers.
"This would appear to be a key factor explaining the typically higher level of savings in rural areas compared with urban ones."
While the average difference between savings balances in rural and urban is 16% for the whole of Britain, the variance is much greater in some regions.
In rural Scotland, the average balance is 29% higher than in urban areas of the country (£8,805 vs. £6,846).
In the West Midlands, rural balances are 25% higher than urban balances (£9,203 vs £7,338).
There is a 22% difference in favour of rural savers in the North (£8,898 vs. £7,296) and Wales (£8,812 vs £7,211).
In contrast, in southern England, the rural over urban savings premium is smaller: South East (10%), South West (10%) and East Anglia (12%).
The largest average balances amongst rural local areas are held by savers in the Chilterns, with £12,451.
This is followed by Derbyshire Dales (£11,410), Hambleton (£11,316), Waverley (£11,119) and New Forest (£11,091).
While the rural premium is smaller in the southern England overall, 14 of the top 20 savings areas are nonetheless in the South.
In addition to Derbyshire Dales and Hambleton, high savings areas outside the South include Ryedale (£10,661), Rutland (£10,621) and Eden (£10,250).
The nation's lowest rural savers are in East Ayrshire with an average savings balance of £5,450: 40% below the GB average.
The other lowest savings rural areas are North Warwickshire (£6,373), Forest of Dean (£6,897) and Pendle in Lancashire (£6,974).
Savers in Hambleton in North Yorkshire have the biggest average balances relative to earnings.
The average savings balance of £11,316 in Hambleton is equivalent to 58% of average annual earnings in the area.
This is the highest proportion across all local area districts (LAD) in Britain, including urban areas.
The Halifax Rural Savings Report is based on data from Halifax's deposit savings database.
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