These are the 15 worst places to live in the UK

If you're looking for somewhere new to live, here are 15 places that you should think about avoiding.

Will Martin
Thursday 14 July 2016 16:04

Every two years, price comparison website uSwitch creates a ranking of UK regions based on their quality of life.

uSwitch uses 26 different variables — from the average hours of sunshine per year and amount of CO2 in the air, to the number of people in full-time work — and then uses a proprietary weighting system to rank 138 British regions for their quality of life.

As with all lists, where there's a top, there's also a bottom — namely the 15 places in Britain with the worst quality of life.

So if you're looking for somewhere new to live, here are 15 places that you should think about avoiding.

15. ISLE OF WIGHT — Famous as the summer home of Queen Victoria, locals on the Isle of Wight pay some of the highest prices for food and insurance in the country. Add that to pretty average exam results for children and its clear why the island has a poor quality of life.

Isle of Wight Walking Festival

14. GWENT VALLEYS — None of the 26 variables scored extremely badly, but across the board Gwent's scores are pretty poor. Mortality rates in particular are fairly low.

13. SOMERSET — Last time uSwitch's rankings came out, Somerset ranked in the top 100, but low levels of full time employment and high insurance premiums have helped push it down the list.

12. DUMFRIES & GALLOWAY — Dumfries hasn't changed positions since the last quality of life index. Broadband speeds are low, and people get very little sunshine comparatively. Unfortunately for women in the area, they have a particularly low life expectancy.

11. SANDWELL — Sandwell, in the West Midlands has pretty poor ratings for levels of employment, disposable income, and hours worked per week. It also has a relatively high mortality rate.

10. SOUTH TEESSIDE — Teesside has a problem with a low employment rate, and high levels of CO2. No wonder that people from nearby Middlesborough are sometimes called “Smoggies.”

9. EAST OF NORTHERN IRELAND — The area's quality of life has plummeted 91 places since uSwitch's last ranking. People in eastern Northern Ireland don't have much disposable income, scoring just 4 out of 138. The crime rate is also particularly high.

8. CENTRAL VALLEYS — High mortality rates, low life expectancies for both genders and slow broadband due to the rural nature of the area give the Welsh Valleys a pretty low rating for quality of life. House prices in the area are some of the best though.

7. DEVON — Devon has some of the most beautiful countryside and coastlines in the UK, but Devonians get fewer hours of work than most, and have to pay a lot for their petrol. These and other factors contribute to its position as the area of the UK with the 7th lowest quality of life.

The South West Coast Path brings you to Devon gems such as Bantham Beach

6. BLACKPOOL —Both men and women in Blackpool have very low life expectancies. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the town also has a high mortality rate.

5. WEST AND SOUTH OF NORTHERN IRELAND — High levels of crime, and low levels of gross income — both rank in the bottom 10 — give this part of the country a pretty low quality of life.

4. WESTERN ISLES — People living in Scotland's Western Isles must contend with the UK's slowest internet, terrible phone reception, and crucially, the fewest hours of yearly sunshine.

3. NORTH OF NORTH IRELAND — Despite beautiful scenery like the Causeway Coast, people living in the North of Northern Ireland have to deal with the lowest gross incomes in the whole UK and the second worst rate of employment.

2. KINGSTON UPON HULL — Hull has some of the lowest life expectancies in the country, and one of the highest mortality rates. Not exactly a great combination.

1. BRADFORD — According to uSwitch, Bradford officially has the worst quality of life in the UK. Expensive rents, low employment and low levels of disposable income make up much of the problem.

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