publication date: Dec 22, 2014
author/source: Kate Faulkner, Property Expert and Author of Which? Property Books
Halifax quality of life survey
Halifax's quality of life survey has positioned the area of Hart, in Hampshire, as the best place to live in the country. The survey uses a number of measures such as crime rate and life expetancy to ascertain quality of life.
According to Halifax, Hart is a great place to live because:
- Residents tend to be fit and well – over 97% reporting good or fairly good health.
- Average life expectancy is the joint highest in the UK (83 years for men).
- The employment rate is high with four out of five of 16-64 year olds in occupation.
- Many residents enjoy high incomes, with average weekly earnings of £839 – 33% higher than the UK average of £629.
- Inhabitants live in relative security with one of the lowest crime rates in the country.
- Residents enjoy a relatively good climate – less rainfall per year than the national average (736 mm against 879 mm) and more weekly sunshine hours (32.5 hours against the national average of 29.5 hours).
- 95% of all households have a good level of broadband access – compared to 87% for the UK as a whole.
- Importantly, the latest ONS figures indicate the Hart adult population is among the most happy, satisfied and content in the UK.
What else does the survey show?
- Employment is highest in Eden in Cumbria at 87.0%, ahead of Dacorum in Hertfordshire (85.4%) and North Dorset (85.2%). The UK average is 71.9%.
- The highest weekly average earnings are in Kensington & Chelsea at £1,372 per week, followed by City of London at £1,115p/w, Elmbridge at £1,104 p/w, Westminster at £1,056 p/w and St. Albans at £1,010 p/w. The UK average is £629 p/w.
- The proportion of adults (16 years and over) with the highest level of qualification gained (such as a degree, NVQ level 4 and above or professional qualification) is the highest in the City of London (94.8%), followed by Richmond upon Thames (70.4%), and Wandsworth (69.6%) – all significantly above the national average of 34.8%.
- The biggest homes are in Uttlesford in Essex, Chiltern, South Buckinghamshire and Rutland which all have an average of 6.4 habitable rooms. The smallest homes are in the City of London, Tower Hamlets, and Westminster (all below 4.0 habitable rooms). The average number of habitable rooms in the UK is 5.5.
- 100% of homes in East Ayrshire have; the national average is 96%.
- Only four areas in the top 250 in the country have an average house price to earnings ratio which is at or below the UK historical long-term average of 4.0; Omagh (3.82), Fermanagh (3.89), North Lincolnshire (3.96) and Western Isles (4.0). The highest ratios are all in London boroughs: Hammersmith and Fulham (13.2), Camden and Hackney (both 12.3). The national average is 6.2.
- 80% of local area districts households have access to superfast broadband, i.e. where download speed is greater than 25 megabits per second (Mbps). They include several areas in Greater Manchester (such as Manchester and Trafford), York, and Ards in Northern Ireland. Across all areas of the UK the majority of households have a good level of broadband access (i.e. a download speed of 2Mbps is regarded as the minimum for good broadband service).
- The Western Isles and Highlands takes the top spot for lowest population density, with just nine people per square kilometre, compared to a UK average of 264. At the other end of the scale, the most populated areas per square kilometre are all in London: Islington (14,517), Tower Hamlets (13,798), and Hackney (13,511).
- The lowest traffic levels are found in the Western Isles with just 67 vehicles per square kilometre, Highland (100 vehicles/km), Isle of Scilly (125 vehicles/km) and Argyll & Bute (126 vehicles/km). The UK average is 8,804 vehicles/km.
- Orkney Islands has the lowest burglary rate per 10,000 people (1.0) followed by Western Isles (5.4), North Norfolk (7.3), Broadland in the East of England (8.0), and Eden in the North West (8.1).
- Six of the ten areas with the lowest CO2 emissions are in London. The lowest emissions are found in Newham which has (1.4 tonnes of CO2 per household), followed by Tower Hamlets (1.5 tonnes CO2 per household) and Southwark and Hackney (both 1.6 tonnes CO2 per household). The national average is 2.0 tonnes of CO2 per capita.
- The lowest average annual rainfall (525mm) is in Castle Point in Essex. Nine of the ten driest districts in the UK are in the East of England. In the UK average annual rainfall is 878.8 mm.
- Conversely, the sunniest place in the UK is the Isle of Wight where residents enjoy an average of 36.9 hours of sunshine a week. The national average is 29.5 hours.
- The healthiest districts are all in the South, with Hart, Wokingham and Isles of Scilly all having 97% or more households rating themselves in good or fairly good health. Seven of the top ten areas are found in the South East, with the remaining found in the East of England (2), and Scotland (1). In the UK as a whole 94.6% of households rate themselves as in good or fairly good health.
- Life expectancy for males at birth is highest in Hart and South Cambridgeshire (83 years). The UK average is 79.3 years.
- Primary school class sizes are smallest in Scotland, with seven of the 10 local authority districts with the smallest primary school classes here. The Western Isles has the lowest in the UK with 17.0 compared to a national average of 26.4.
- The best GCSE results in England are in South Tyneside where 93.0% of pupils achieved five or more GCSE grades A-C followed by Bromley (92.9%), Slough (92.5%) and Kensington and Chelsea (92.1%). All are above the UK average of 82.4%.
Personal Well-Being (based on four categories – life satisfaction, worthwhile, happiness and anxiety)
- Adults (16 and over) in Antrim in Northern Ireland have the highest average rating for life satisfaction in the UK. Based on a score out of ten, the adults in Antrim had an average rating of 8.8.The UK average is 7.5.
- With a rating of 8.9 (out of ten) adults in Fermanagh and Antrim believe what they do in life is worthwhile, the highest average rating in the UK. The national average is 7.8.
- The happiest adults are in Moyle, Fermanagh and Antrim, also in Northern Ireland, with all having an average rating of 8.4 – significantly higher than the UK average of 7.4.
- Adults in Richmondshire in North Yorkshire, Wolverhampton and Antrim are the least anxious with an average rating of just 1.8. The average for the UK is 2.9.
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