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City life in UK

By:Bora Iunia
Teacher: Buza Mariana

Expats are usually drawn to life in London when they move to the UK, but new research shows
that while quality of life in the capital city has improved, it is Cardiff that comes out top.
Residents of Cardiff have the highest quality of living in the UK, followed by Belfast, Bradford and
then London, according to the MoneySuperMarket Quality of Living index.

Cardiff has the best quality of city life in the UK, according to the MoneySuperMarket Quality of
Living index

Overall, the quality of life has improved in UK cities, but there are disparities. Birmingham is
named as the hardest place to make a living, Bristol has seen costs rise and the jobs market in
Glasgow outperforms other cities.
Cardiff has the lowest cost of living out of all 12 cities at 359 per week, one of the lowest
unemployment rates at 8.1% and the second highest disposable income growth of 3.7%.
In contrast, the cost of living in Bristol has risen to 430 per week, compared with the 12-city
average of 391, second only to London. In addition, Bristol has seen a fall in disposable income
growth, at just 2.8% compared to 3.3% in 2013.
Belfast is second in the index after being eighth in 2013, while Bradford, which in 2013 was last, is
now sitting in third place.
Disposable household income growth in Belfast was the highest of all the cities at 3.8% against an
average of 3%. Average rental prices in the Northern Irish capital were also far lower than average,
while the unemployment rate of 6.8% is the second lowest of all the cities.
Similarly, Bradfords disposable household income growth is 3.6%, making it the third highest out
of all 12 cities, while average rent payments are the lowest at 490 per calendar month.
Birmingham takes the bottom spot this year and performs below average for five out of seven
indicators. Unemployment in Birmingham is the highest at 13.1%, while the score for life
satisfaction is second lowest at 7.22.
On a national level, the economy is performing well. Big contributors to that are growth in salary,
disposable income and house prices, while unemployment has fallen. However, the precise story
differs city by city, said Dan Plant, consumer finance expert at MoneySupermarket.
While some, like Cardiff, Belfast and Bradford measure up well against many of the indicators,
others arent feeling the benefit of the rising economic tide. For instance, Liverpool was the only
city in which the unemployment rate increased, in Sheffield average salaries actually fell, and in
Birmingham the cost of renting increased by a huge 26% compared to a 12% average across these
big cities, he explained.
Clearly, residents of Cardiff are benefiting from lower unemployment levels, and a rise in
disposable income growth over the last twelve months. However, as we have seen with Bristol, this
position can change as a strong local economy can often lead to increases in house prices and
rental costs, resulting in a fall in disposable income growth, he added.

In the week before the referendum on Scottish independence, the Quality of Living index reveals
that Glasgow and Edinburgh already have different economic pictures to the rest of the UK. Both
have experienced larger than average increases in rental prices at 20% and 23% respectively, and
slower house price growth, both 5%, compared with a 9% average in the other cities.
However, Glasgow and Edinburgh both outstrip the big city average in terms of growth in life
satisfaction compared to last year.
Overall, London jumped in ranking from seventh place to fourth, but its trends differed from the
rest of the cities wildly in a couple of key aspects. Londoners have the highest average salaries at
30,479, but the average salary growth was only 8 year on year compared to over 820 on
In addition, Londons property market growth at 26% was by far the biggest compared to the
average of 9%, helping contribute to its rise in the tables. As expected, average rent prices are the
highest out of the 12 cities on average 2,785 per month, and the cost of living there is also the
most expensive at 486 per week.

Bristol is the best city to live in the UK for wealth and happiness,
according to survey which ranked London behind Liverpool,
Manchester and Leeds for quality of life.
Bristol has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and has experienced the highest
growth in disposable income, according to a new report.
The average salary of an employee working in the city is 22, 293 above the UK average of
21,473, and the third highest of the 12 largest UK cities.
London only reached seventh place on the Quality of Living Index, while Bradford was revealed as
the hardest place to make a living.
Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, and Cardiff all finished ahead of the capital.

The study by MoneySuperMarket found Edinburgh was the second best city for quality of life. It
has the second highest average salary of 24,628 and the lowest unemployment rate out of all the
cities studied. Edinburgh scored 7.42 on the life satisfaction scale, above Cardiff, London and
Bristol, meanwhile, has benefited from its reputation as an environmentally friendly city, with a
top-class university and buoyant property market.
In 2008, it was named Britain's most environmentally sustainable city, knocking Brighton and
Hove into second place, while in 2009 it was the sole British destination selected in Dorling
Kindersley's Eyewitness guide to the top 10 cities to visit.
The 12 largest cities in the country were assessed on a range of factors including property market
activity; rental costs; salary levels; disposable income growth; cost of living; unemployment rates
and life satisfaction.
The cities were ranked in descending order as follows: Bristol, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Liverpool,
Leeds, Manchester, London, Belfast, Glasgow, Birmingham, Sheffield and Bradford.

The capital city of Scotland is the second-most visited location in the UK (after London), thanks to
a beautiful medieval castle, Georgian streets, green parkland and summer festivals that give the
town an energetic buzz. These same attributes make the city -- one of the most cultural and historic
spots in the country -- a unique place to live.
What is it known for?
Arriving by train is the best way to enter Edinburgh, not for the station itself, but for the view when
you come out of it, with the citys beautiful and dramatic skyline high above you. Edinburgh is
home to two Unesco World Heritage Sites separated by the steep-sided greenery of the Princes
Street Gardens: the Old Town with its imposing Castle Rock and Royal Mile, and the New Town,
just a bit younger than Old Town, with a posh Georgian grid laid out in the late 18th and early
19th Centuries. Edinburghs grey sandstone architecture can seem austere, but the city is organized
on a very human scale. It is a small metropolis, easily navigated and explored from landmarks such
as the much-maligned Scottish Parliament building and Arthurs Seat, an 800-foot high lump of
eroded volcano in Holyrood Park overlooking the Castle and palace, down Leith Walk to the steel
blue waters of the Firth of Forth, where the River Forth meets the North Sea.

The citys population swells every summer when the Edinburgh Festival season takes place, from
the original Fringe Festival (the largest arts festival in the world) to the Military Tattoo (celebrating
martial music and bands) to the International Book Festival, drawing actors, comedians, authors,
military drum bands and performers of all stripes to town. The days are long in the summer, and
the sun does not set until after 10 pm. A number of residents rent out their houses or flats during
festival season to make extra cash.
The literary festival means my favourite authors show up on my doorstep, said Gemma Elwin
Harris, a former London resident and editor of the forthcoming Big Questions from Little People
(Ecco HarperCollins). And the International Science Festival in March is brilliant for kids. There
is always something happening, but you can nearly always get a seat at the top restaurants. You can
indulge in the cuisine of Michelin-starred chefs like Martin Wishart and Tom Kitchin at The
Honours and The Kitchin, but Edinburgh has humbler delights, like some of the best fish and
chips around.
Where do you want to live?
The gracious Georgian townhouses and squares of New Town are expensive sought-after
properties. On the citys Southside, residential areas include Marchmont near the University of
Edinburgh campus, Bruntsfield and the Grange. These are a draw for families looking to be close
to the centre while still affording a reasonably-sized home. Bruntsfield is a little bit posher, with a
high street filled with French bakeries and lovely little shops, said Elwin Harris. You are right on
the Meadows [a large public park] and Arthurs Seat is nearby.
Near Bruntsfield, Polwarth is attracting families who want to stretch their pound. In the West End,
Murrayfield is popular, and while the district of Leith has definitely come into its own down by the
waterfront, the area around Leith Links is getting more attention. For commuters, coastal villages
like Aberlady and North Berwick in East Lothian are very sought after, said Jamie Macnab,
director, Residential at Savills Edinburgh estate agents.
Side trips
It is very easy to get out of town and many Edinburgh residents do, especially in summer. The
beaches are only a 45-minute drive away in picturesque villages such as Gullane on the Firth of
Forth and Elie in Fife, which are pleasantly uncrowded. Golf lovers also have their pick of the links
and Glasgow, Scotlands largest city, is less than an hour away by car or train. The Highlands and
lochs like Ness and Lomond can be reached in two or three hours, while the Scottish Border
counties, heaven for walkers, are roughly an hour away by car.

There are frequent trains to London, the fastest of which takes around four and a half hours, but
you can also fly, which takes about an hour. The Edinburgh Airport has numerous flights to many
regional UK and European airports, as well as to New York.