If you hate rain, want a new job or need a break from your smartphone… these are the places where you should lives where you should live
Hart has been declared the best place to live in the UK.
The north-east Hampshire district has topped Halifax’s Quality of Life survey for the fifth consecutive year, thanks to its healthy and happy residents, high employment, strong average earnings and pleasant weather.
South Oxfordshire scaled 19 places on this year’s index to claim second place, with Chiltern rounding out the top three.
But not all things are created equal. Some people prioritise good schools, others want a big house – and some folk just want to live on the sunny side of the street.
The report assesses all 250 local authorities across 24 categories, including traffic flow, crime rate, population density and personal well-being.
These are the best and worst places in the United Kingdom for your particular needs.
Where you will earn the most
Perhaps unsurprisingly, average weekly earnings are highest inKensington and Chelsea, at £1,238. London accounts for the four highest-paid areas, with the inahbitants earning £1,023, £979 and £957 per week respectively.
The Kensington and Chelsea area ranks 90th out of 250 on the overall list.
Where you are most likely to get a job
No area of the UK has eliminated joblessness, but Winchester has the highest employment rate, with 87.4pc of people toiling nine-to-fives.
If the South isn’t for you, Scotland’s Orkney Islands – also home to the northernmost castle in the UK – ranks second, with employment of 86.3pc.
Overall, Winchester is a pretty jolly place to live: it ranks fourth on the index.
Where you can afford the biggest house
Living in an area with lovely houses is less enjoyable when you can’t afford them. The UK’s worst offender is Hammersmith and Fulham, where property prices are 13.5 times the average earnings.
With a house price to earnings ratio of just 4.3 – a third of Hammersmith and Fulham’s – Antrim and Newtownabbey, just north of Belfast, is the most affordable place in the UK to buy a house.
You’d better really love that house, though: the Northern Irish district only ranks 244th out of 250 local authorities on the list.
Where you won’t have to sit in traffic
Life’s too short to sit in traffic all day, isn’t it? If you’re really serious about avoiding traffic, you need to move to the Outer Hebrides, where each square kilometre sees just 69 cars.
Watford’s roads are 826 times busier, with 56,967 vehicles per square kilometre.
Eilean Siar, the local authority of the Outer Hebrides, is the 136th best place in the UK to live.
Where it never rains
OK, we’ve taken a liberal interpretation of “never” here – everything is relative. If you can’t stand the rain, or you’ve misplaced your umbrella, the best place to be is Castle Point, which covers Canvey Island, Hadleigh, South Benfleet and Thundersley.
The Essex neighbourhoods get just 525mm of rainfall each year – less than a third of the annual downpour of Cumbria’s South Lakeland, the soggiest place in the UK, which collects 1,839mm of rainfall every year.
Castle Point is in 239th place on the UK-wide list.
Where you’ll work up the best tan
If sunshine is important to you, the Isle of Wight is your place. In a week, 36.9 hours of rays shine on the largest island in England, compared with the nationwide average 29.5 hours.
The country’s darkest spot is the Shetland Islands, which soak up 22.2 hours of sunshine every week. A week is 168 hours long.
Overall, the Isle of Wight is in 98th place.
Where you’ll have the cleverest children
However, the Isle of Wight has the worst GCSE turnout in the country – probably on account of all that sitting around outside.
It’s a win for the Shetland Islands, where 94.3pc of people who are 15 or older have five or more GCSEs between A and C grades (or the Scottish equivalent). The national average is 68.6pc.
Shetland is the 134th best place to live in the UK.
Where your life will be stress free
Don’t worry, be happy. People who live in Nuneaton and Bedworth in north Warwickshire are the least anxious in the country, with an anxiety level of 1.8 out of 10.
The UK’s average rating is 2.8. Looks like we’re a pretty chilled bunch.
The Nuneaton and Bedworth area ranks 203rd out of 250 districts.
Where you won’t have to reply to your emails
“Didn’t I RSVP to your Facebook event? So sorry! We get terrible internet connection here.”
Another win for Eilean Siar, or the Outer Hebrides, where just 52pc of locals have access to strong broadband (a download speed of at least 2mbps). While that may not be shocking, Melton in Suffolk and Christchurch in Dorset round out the worst three.
Where you’ll be happiest
Inhabitants of Fermanagh and Omagh, in Northern Ireland, are the nation’s happiest. They have a life satisfaction score of 8.4 out of 10 and a happiness rating of 8.26 out of 10, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.
This compares with the countrywide average of 7.7 and 7.5 respectively.
Dover residents are the unhappiest, with a score of 7.03, while people who live in Christchurch are the least satisfied with their lives, at 7.2.
The research on how closely this is related to the above category is inconclusive.