Cardiff is best for quality of life
People living in Cardiff have the best quality of life compared to any other of the UK's largest cities, new research has found.
Belfast took second place, in MoneySuperMarket.com's Quality of Living Index, with Bradford, London and Bristol making up the rest of the top five.
The index looked at a wide-range of economic factors and found Cardiff had the lowest cost of living at £359 a week, one of the lowest unemployment rates (8.1%) and saw the second highest growth in disposable income (3.7%).
Belfast and Bradford saw the biggest improvements, jumping from eight and last place in 2013.
Last year's winning city, Bristol, saw the cost of living rise to £430 a week, compared with the 12-city average of £391, and saw a drop in disposable income growth of just 2.8% (compared to 3.3% in 2013).
Birmingham came bottom in the list, performing below average in five out of the seven indicators. According to the research, unemployment was the highest in the UK's second city (13.1%), rents had jumped by 26% to £756 per month in the past twelve months, while the score for life satisfaction was the second-lowest at 7.22.
Looking at London, the capital has the highest average salaries at £30,479 but, unsurprisingly, the highest average rents (£2,785 a month) and the cost of living is also most expensive at £486 a week.
Dan Plant, consumer finance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: "On a national level, the economy is performing well. Big contributors to that are growth in salary, disposable income and house prices, while unemployment has fallen. However, the precise story differs city by city."
While some, like Cardiff, Belfast and Bradford measure up well against many of the indicators, others aren't feeling the benefit of the rising economic tide.
"Clearly residents of Cardiff are benefiting from lower unemployment levels, and a rise in disposable income growth over the last 12 months. However, as we have seen with Bristol, this position can change as a strong local economy can often lead to increases in house prices and rental costs, resulting in a fall in disposable income growth."
Quality of Life Index 2014
UK's largest cities Quality of Life index Score
- Cardiff 0.68
- Belfast 0.67
- Bradford 0.58
- London 0.57
- Bristol 0.56
- Leeds 0.55
- Edinburgh 0.55
- Manchester 0.50
- Sheffield 0.49
- Glasgow 0.41
- Liverpool 0.40
- Birmingham 0.35