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Given the whole of England to choose from, where should you live? Which places are the best? What does ‘best’ even mean? Obviously the answer is pretty subjective – after all, our requirements for commuting, local amenities and other such factors are different. However, as our mission is to help people decide where to live, we’ve done some analysis of our own to rank and compare different areas across the whole of England.
We’ve used three sources of Open Data for this analysis – the 2010 economic deprivation index produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government, the reported health of citizens from the 2011 census, and schools performance data published by Ofsted. We think the three factors this data represents – economy, health, education – can be combined to provide a decent measure of the ‘quality’ of an area, and how good (or bad!) it is to live there.
We did our analysis at a ward level. There are approximately 7500 wards in England. For schools, we scored each ward based on the schools within it and in neighbouring wards. We did not have enough data for about 470 of the wards to be able to compare them like-for-like, so have excluded them from the final analysis, resulting in the holes you can see in the map. Areas on the map of the same colour indicate they are in the same decile from our rankings.
So, according to our rankings, what are the 10 best places to live in England? Here they are:
Best 10 areas to live in England
The top 10 is dominated by areas in the south of England, with 5 areas from Surrey alone. While this may be somewhat expected based on the three factors we included, it’s interesting to note that Southampton has two areas in the top 10, including the number one spot. Of the top 10, Weybridge and Heatherside were nearest to the best schools, Heatherside and Fleet North were the least deprived and Fleet North and Hedge End Grange Park were the most healthy.
Now on the opposite end of the scale, here’s the results for the 10 worst places to live in England:
Worst 10 areas to live in England
Do you live in any of our best or worst places? Do you agree or disagree with them? Tweet us @locatableUK and let us know what you think. Don’t forget you can also use the Locatable search engine to find the best places to live based on your own needs!
Economic Depivation Index - Released under the Open Government License v 1.0.
Reported Health Data (.XLS file) - Adapted from data from the Office for National Statistics licensed under the Open Government Licence v.1.0.