19 Best And Worst Places To Live In The UK – Does Your Hometown Make The Cut?

  • Marie Claire is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission on some of the items you choose to buy.
  • Warning: this may make you want to move....

    In case you’ve been thinking recently about how to make your daily slog to and from work that much easier, the best places to live and work in the UK have now been revealed.

    The Berkshire town of Reading has officially topped the list as the best spot in the country for economic growth and well-being, followed by Oxford, Edinburgh and Cambridge which also crack the second, third and fourth spots respectively.

    However things aren’t looking good for the Londoners as the capital city has been deemed the third worst place to live in the UK, preceded only by Wakefield and Middlesbrough.

    The report cited London’s expensive transport, congestion charges, poor work-life balance and intense working conditions as reasons for out-performance by other UK cities.

    So in case you were thinking of up and moving to the bright lights – don’t.

    The research, carried out by PwC and think-tank Demos, was published in The 2015 Good Growth for Cities Index, an annual report in its fourth year which measures the performance of the UK’s largest cities against ten categories.

    Criteria for deciding the best places to live and work included: housing affordability, employment rates, income and skills, commuting times and environment.

    The report also highlighted the widening economic divisions between the North and South of the country and examined the effect of the ’The Northern Powerhouse’ – a plan for government to devolve powers and businesses to the North of the country.

    However the report suggested that cities in devolved administrations such as Aberdeen Preston and Cardiff did score higher than the UK average for all combined factors, and were ranked 5th, 12th and 17th for potential growth overall.

    See the national rankings in full below:

    19 Best Cities For Growth & Well-being

    1. Reading & Bracknell

    2. Oxford

    3. Edinburgh

    4. Cambridge

    5. Aberdeen

    6. Southampton

    7. Bristol

    8. Belfast

    9. Leicester

    10. Coventry

    11. Portsmouth

    12. Preston

    13. Norwich

    14. Swindon

    15. Milton Keynes & Aylesbury

    16. Plymouth

    17. Cardiff

    18. Brighton

    19. Stoke-on-Trent

    19 Worst Cities For Growth & Well-being

    1. Wakefield & Castleford

    2. Middlesbrough & Stockton

    3. London (Boroughs Only)

    4. Sunderland

    5. Liverpool

    6. Bradford

    7. Birmingham

    8. London

    9. Swansea Bay

    10. Maidstone & North Kent

    11. Hull

    12. Southend & Brentwood

    13. Newcastle & Durham

    14. Sheffield & Rotherham

    15. Manchester

    16. Glasgow

    17. Wirral & Ellesmere Port

    18. Warrington & Wigan

    19. Nottingham


    Where would you live? Tweet us @marieclaireuk

    Reading now

    Popular