Wales ranked the worst country in the UK for quality of life

Scotland is ranked the best among the home nations for wellbeing

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 12 October 2016 18:46 BST
Wales finished bottom among the home nations of a study looking at quality of life.
Wales finished bottom among the home nations of a study looking at quality of life.

People living in Wales have the worst quality of life in the UK, according to a European study measuring the factors that shape Britons’ lives.

The Social Progress Index ranked Wales below both England and Northern Ireland when it came to quality of life. Scotland took top spot among the home nations.

The investigation was part of a pan-European project by the European Commission and the Social Progress Imperative, which looked into 37 regions across the UK.

The study looked past GDP and considered factors that directly affect people’s wellbeing, including health, safety, access to education and human rights.

Regions were allocated overall scores on a scale of 1-100, with Wales finishing on 72.04 and Scotland 74.01.

The countries in Europe with the best quality of life were Finland, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands, while Bulgaria finishing bottom.

Wales fell behind Scotland in terms of tolerance, which was measured according to treatment of minorities, gay people and those with disabilities.

Education was also worse in the country, according to indicators such as degree attainment, enrolment in school and adult education.

Michael Green, of the Social Progress Imperative, said: “Perhaps the most surprising finding is that the Brexit narrative of a divided United Kingdom, split between the privileged London bubble and more deprived regions, is not evident in terms of quality of life.

“Wealth in Cornwall and west Wales may be much lower but their social progress is on a par with inner London.”

The place in the UK with the worst quality of life however, was not in Wales, but England. The West Midlands finished bottom of all 37 regions measured with a score of 68.99.

Deloitte Global chairman David Cruickshank said: “To drive sustainable and equitable growth we need to focus on measurements which go beyond GDP.”

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