Edinburgh named second best place to live in UK

Edinburgh has been named as one of the best cities to live in Britain – coming in second place after Bristol.

A view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill. Picture: Jeremy Stockton
A view of Edinburgh from Calton Hill. Picture: Jeremy Stockton

The capital was deemed to have a high quality of life compared to eleven other major cities in the UK scoring well for factors including average salary and unemployment rate – which was the lowest of all the places surveyed.

Only Bristol, in the west of England, was considered to offer a better quality of life to its residents.

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Glasgow, however, was ranked among the worst – rated alongside Birmingham, Sheffield and Bradford as having the lowest quality of living in the UK – according to MoneySuperMarket’s Quality of Living Index.

“The UK is only just making its way out of the deepest recession it has seen since the 1930s and it’s clear that people living in different cities across the country have had to face different problems,” said Clare Francis, editor-in-chief at MoneySuperMarket.

“It is interesting to see Bristol and Edinburgh topping the table of the best places to live in the UK from a quality of living perspective.”

The index assessed the 12 largest cities on a range of factors, including property market activity, rental costs, salary levels, disposable income growth and cost of living. Other key criteria included unemployment rates and life satisfaction.

These factors, taken from existing sources such as house price trackers and ONS statistics, were weighted depending on the importance of each to the quality of living and each city was given an overall score.Edinburgh’s quality of life index score was 0.697 – just below Bristol at 0.725, while Glasgow’s score came in at 0.549.

Edinburgh has the second highest average salary of all of the cities – at £24,628 – and has an unemployment rate of 6.7 per cent. The figure compares with an unemployment rate of 7.8 per cent across Scotland and 11.5 per cent in Glasgow.

The weekly average cost of living in Edinburgh was also recorded as lower than the UK average – at £372 a week, compared to £401. Rents were also found to be the lowest in Britain at £43 a week – the same as Glasgow and three times less than the typical amount paid in London.

The city scored 7.42 on the life satisfaction scale, above Cardiff, London and Bristol, while the study found that disposable household income growth in Edinburgh stands at 2.99 per cent – 0.13 percentage points higher than the UK average.

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Ms Francis added: “The UK’s quality of living has suffered in recent years and, as a result, many households are struggling to make ends meet each month. In many ways this is understandable given salary increases haven’t kept up with rising living costs – and millions of people haven’t seen their pay rise at all for the last few years.

“Edinburgh and Glasgow are both consistently in the top ten places that people most want to visit,” said a spokeswoman for VisitScotland.

Edinburgh has often appeared in lists of the best places to live.

Earlier this year, it was said to be the happiest city in the UK in a survey by the Office for National Statistics.

Edinburgh Council refused to comment.

UK 12 largest cities - Quality of Living Index Score

Bristol - 0.725

Edinburgh - 0.697

Cardiff - 0.659

Liverpool - 0.629

Leeds - 0.587

Manchester - 0.585

London - 0.569

Belfast - 0.558

Glasgow - 0.549

Birmingham - 0.544

Sheffield - 0.519

Bradford - 0.513