Top Ratings for Rural Life

30 March 2015, 07:36 | Updated: 30 March 2015, 07:38

Babergh has been named one of the best rural places to live in the country.

It came eleventh in a list of the top 50, with four other parts of Norfolk and Suffolk also on the list.

Halifax's annual Rural Quality of Life Survey looks at things like health, crime, weather, employment and schools

The report forund Rutland residents have the highest standard of living in rural Britain.

Chiltern has moved up six places in 2015 to second place, up from number 8 in 2014.

The top 50 rural places to live in Britain were again dominated by the South East, with 14 districts found in this region, followed by the East of England, which claims 10 of the top 50 spots.

Aside from Rutland, other areas away from southern England in the top 50 included the Orkney Islands in Scotland, Hambleton in North Yorkshire and Monmouthshire in Wales.

Southern areas tend to receive higher ratings for weekly earnings, the weather, health and life expectancy, while northern areas score highly on education in terms of grades and smaller class sizes, lower house prices in relation to earnings, and both lower traffic flows and population densities, Halifax said.

There were several big climbers in the top 20, with Huntingdonshire rising 36 places to number 9, South Oxfordshire up 19 places to 10, Babergh in south Suffolk moving from 42 in 2014 to 11 in 2015 and West Oxfordshire moving 27 places to 13.

The main reason for these changes is that personal well-being of adults has improved since the last survey, with adults being more satisfied, happy and less anxious about their lives, Halifax said.

The survey is based on data from various sources including Halifax, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the UK, Welsh and Scottish governments.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director at Halifax, said: ``Rutland has moved up 11 places to the top spot in the 2015 Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey.

``Taking a wide range of economic and social factors into account, residents here can now lay claim to having the highest standard of living in rural Britain.''

The report also found that the biggest homes are in Uttlesford in Essex, Chiltern and Rutland which all have an average of 6.4 habitable rooms. The average number of habitable rooms in Britain is 5.5.

The most affordable homes when compared with local earnings are in Copeland and East Ayrshire, where a property costs 3.8 times the local wage typically.

The report also found that 100% of homes in East Ayrshire have central heating, compared with the national average of 96%.


Here are the 50 rural areas with the best quality of life according to Halifax:

1. Rutland, East Midlands

2. Chiltern, South East

3. Uttlesford, East of England

4. South Northamptonshire, East Midlands

5. Rushcliffe, East Midlands

6. Waverley, South East

7. South Cambridgeshire, East of England

8. Mid Sussex, South East

9. Huntingdonshire, East of England

10. South Oxfordshire, South East

11. Babergh, East of England

12. East Hertfordshire, East of England

13. West Oxfordshire, South East

14. South Kesteven, East Midlands

15. East Cambridgeshire, East of England

16. North Kesteven, East Midlands

17. Aylesbury Vale, South East

18. Tonbridge and Malling, South East

19. Wealden, South East

20. Mid Suffolk, East of England

21. Orkney Islands, Scotland

22. Hambleton, Yorkshire and the Humber

23. Richmondshire, Yorkshire and the Humber

24. Selby, Yorkshire and the Humber

25. Malvern Hills, West Midlands

26. Harborough, East Midlands

27. New Forest, South East

28. Vale of White Horse, South East

29. Wychavon, West Midlands

30. Tewkesbury, South West

31. South Derbyshire, East Midlands

32. St Edmundsbury, East of England

33. Tandridge, South East

34. South Staffordshire, West Midlands

35. South Norfolk, East of England

36. Ryedale, Yorkshire and The Humber

37. Test Valley, South East

38. West Berkshire, South East

39. East Riding of Yorkshire, Yorkshire and the Humber

40. Shetland Islands, Scotland

41. Cherwell, South East

42. Suffolk Coastal, East of England

43. Cotswold, South West

44. North Dorset, South West

45. Wiltshire, South West

46. Monmouthshire, Wales

47. East Dorset, South West

48. Newark and Sherwood, East Midlands

49. Aberdeenshire, Scotland

50. Herefordshire, West Midlands