These are the best (and worst places) for women to live in the UK

How does your local authority rank?

According to research carried out for BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, East Dunbartonshire, near Glasgow, is the best place to live in Britain if you’re a woman.

The study, carried out by the National Centre for Social Research, looked at eight core issues related to women’s quality of life: education, income, housing affordability, personal wellbeing, life expectancy, safety, environment and culture.

Of the 380 local authorities analysed, East Dunbartonshire came out top for women. It ranked particularly highly for education and the quality of the local environment. The average full-time salary for women in the region is £15.07 per hour, 46th in Britain.

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Scottish landscape

It fared less well, however, in the housing affordability stakes, ranking 192nd in Britain. The average property there costs 7.5 times the average salary.

This is not the first time East Dunbartonshire has been recognised as a desirable place to live. In 2007, a Reader’s Digest poll saw it voted the best place to raise a family in the UK, thanks to its ‘safe streets, strong schools and thriving towns’.

By contrast, North London’s Islington was rated the worst place for women to live. It scored poorly on well-being, environmental quality, safety and housing affordability. While women in Islington earn the 16th best salary in Britain (£16.35 per hour), the average house costs more than 16 times the average annual income.

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Karen Dalziel, Woman’s Hour editor says: ‘The Best Place to be a Woman analysis has given us a powerful tool to understand the factors affecting the quality of a woman’s life in Great Britain, and a fascinating insight into the way a woman’s needs, experiences and expectations change during her life.’

She added that the results also raise important questions around what women value most. ‘But how important are low house prices, good schools and availability of jobs?’ she says. ‘Can access to green fields or cinemas compensate for high crime rates? Or is having family and friends nearby what women value most?

‘We’ll now investigate to what extent our selected key indicators have really shaped women’s choices about where they live.’

These are the ten best places to live in Britain, according the Woman’s Hour analysis:

  1. East Dunbartonshire, Scotland
  2. East Renfrewshire, Scotland
  3. West Oxfordshire, South East
  4. West Berkshire, South East
  5. South Oxfordshire, South East
  6. Winchester, South East
  7. Mid Sussex, South East
  8. Wycombe, South East
  9. Stafford, West Midlands
  10. Shropshire, West Midlands

And these are the ten worst places:

  1. Islington, London
  2. Blackpool, North West
  3. Corby, East Midlands
  4. Boston, East Midlands
  5. Kingston-upon-Hull, Yorkshire and The Humber
  6. Burnley, North West
  7. City of London, London
  8. Westminster, London
  9. Wolverhampton, West Midlands
  10. Camden, London

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