Welwyn Hatfield slips into top 150 in quality of life rankings
- Credit: Picture: DANNY LOO
Welwyn Hatfield’s residents are less happy and its housing affordability worse than most places in the UK, a national survey suggests.
The local authority district ranked just inside the top 150 best places to live in the UK in the 2019 Halifax Quality of Life index, while Hertmere’s strong labor market helped it to 116th.
The list aims to quantify where living standards are highest by ranking performance across various indicators covering the labour and housing markets, environment, education, health and personal well-being.
Welwyn Hatfield scored particularly well for its standard GCSE pass rate (71.8 per cent), carbon emissions and residents’ sense of worth. However, it ranked among the worst for house price to earnings ratio, happiness and primary class size scores.
Hertsmere’s average weekly earnings (£826), GCSE pass rate (71.8 per cent) and employment rate (81.1 per cent) all ranked inside the UK top 50 (39th, 43rd and 47th respectively).
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Resident happiness and anxiety scores also ranked highly in national comparisons.
Hertmere scored poorly in traffic flow, carbon emissions and life satisfaction measures.
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More than half of the top 50 best places to live in the UK are now outside Southern England and eight of them are in the East of England, including St Albans (ninth).
Halifax managing director Russell Galley said: “While the South East continues to have the most locations in the top 50, we’ve seen Northern areas perform particularly well on education while they also benefit from lower house prices when compared to average earnings.”
There is a clear distinction in key strengths between areas in the south and the north.
Local authority districts in the South are particularly strong in the labour market due to high employment levels and average earnings, on long life expectancy and where adults rate themselves to be in good health.
Geography also benefits these areas with more hours of sunshine and less rainfall.
In the north, most areas have relatively better housing affordability conditions with a low house price to earnings ratio.
They also benefit from urban environmental factors such as low traffic flows, crime rates and fewer people per square kilometre.