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17 December 2016, 11:21
Winchester named best place to live in the UK.
Winchester has been crowned as the UK's best place to live in 2016 by a quality of life study.
The Orkney Islands in Scotland took second place, followed by Wychavon in Worcestershire, the Derbyshire Dales and Hambleton in North Yorkshire, according to the research from Halifax.
The study looked at a range of factors to determine the places with the best quality of life, including life expectancy, health, employment rates, crime, education, broadband access, population densities and the weather.
Among the reasons why Winchester came out top, Halifax said, was that the employment rate was significantly higher than the national average, while gross weekly earnings of #824 were 27% higher than the UK average at #646.
A high proportion (96.6%) of residents reported being in good or fairly good health compared to a national average of 94.6%.
Life expectancy rates in Winchester were also higher than the national average, with Winchester men expected to live to around 82-years-old, while Winchester women could expect to live until they were 85.
Crime rates in Winchester were also among the lowest in the country, while Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures indicated the Winchester adult population was among the happiest, most satisfied, most content and least anxious in the UK, Halifax said.
Martin Ellis, an economist at Halifax, said: ``Looking across a wide range of indicators considered by our research, residents of Winchester in Hampshire enjoy the best quality of life in the UK, benefiting from a combination of above average weekly earnings, low crime rate and good health.
``On the other hand, there is a cost associated with a high quality of life with house prices in Winchester 9.7 times the average annual local income - significantly higher than the UK average of 7.2.''
Nearly two-thirds (32) of the top 50 best places to live in the UK are in southern England, according to Halifax's study.
The sunniest place in the UK was the Isle of Wight where residents enjoyed an average of 36.9 hours of sunshine a week, above the national average of 29.7 hours per week.
The biggest homes were in Uttlesford in Essex, Chiltern, South Buckinghamshire and Rutland, which all had an average of just over six habitable rooms.
The smallest homes were in the City of London, Tower Hamlets, and Westminster, which all typically had less than four habitable rooms. The average number of habitable rooms in the UK was 5.5.