Gromit sculptures

A new study has revealed the best places to live in the UK. The researchers looked at everything from disposable income and employment to the cost of living and general satisfaction levels in the 12 largest cities in the UK.

The winner is the place where Ribena was invented, where Banksy started out, and this summer drew 1.2 million visitors to see 80 Gromit sculptures.




Bristol

The MoneySuperMarket study named Bristol as the best place to live in the UK. It was helped by an average salary of £22,293 - above the UK average - and the highest growth in disposable income in the study. Meanwhile it boasted one of the lowest unemployment rates at 8%.

Edinburgh was second, benefiting from the second highest average salary of £24,628 and the lowest unemployment rate out of all the cities (6.7%). Edinburgh also came out more favourably than the UK average on other factors: weekly average cost of living is £372.10 compared to the UK average of £401.10. And Edinburgh scored 7.42 on the life satisfaction scale, above London and Bristol.

Cardiff, Liverpool and Leeds made up the rest of the top five, and Manchester was sixth - revealing that four of the six best large cities to live in are in the North.

Bottom of the list

London only managed seventh place. As expected, those in London have the highest salaries, £30,471 on average, and house prices in the capital have outperformed the rest of the country over the past year. However, it suffered from a lower-than average score for life satisfaction (7.3 versus the UK average of 7.4), and higher than average rents (£131 a week) and mortgage payments (on average £179 per week). London rents are the highest of the 12 largest cities and almost double the national average of £77 a week.

The bottom five cities were Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham, Sheffield, and finally Bradford. A combination of low salaries (Sheffield and Bradford are below the UK average), poor disposable household income growth (just 2.3% growth compared to UK average 2.9%) and higher-than-average unemployment rates explains their rankings, despite their lower costs of living. Birmingham has also been hit particularly hard in recent months, with unemployment now standing at 16.5%.

Quality of living UK index

UK 12 largest cities

Quality of Living Index Score

Bristol

0.725

Edinburgh

0.697

Cardiff

0.659

Liverpool

0.629

Leeds

0.587

Manchester

0.585

London

0.569

Belfast

0.558

Glasgow

0.549

Birmingham

0.544

Sheffield

0.519

Bradford

0.513

Source: Opinium Reasearch 2013