These Are The Best Places To Live In The UK If You're Under 26

A recent survey has revealed the best areas to live in Britain for young people. The BBC study reveals London was ranked as the top location for people under the age of 26 in spite of its bad reputation for unaffordable rent and a high cost of living.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

Dubbed the "Know Your Place" report, the study ranked 378 local authorities from England, Wales and Scotland (comparative data for Northern Ireland wasn't available). They used a number of elements that they considered to be important to young people including nightlife, average rent, unemployment and access to mental health care.

It featured a handy, interactive tool which allows young people to see how the area they live in ranked in the UK as a whole.

A second interactive tool allows young people to choose the categories most important to them and shows three areas which perform best in those categories.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

London, despite its bad reputation for high cost of living and subsequent low quality of life, came out as the top place to be for young people. Islington, Camden and Westminster were the three highest-scoring areas in the UK.

Aside from London, it was Bristol that ranked highest thanks to a relatively low cost of living (namely rent) and a lot of options for night life. Probably why it has the highest rate of inward youth migration in Britain (translation: it has the most young people moving there compared to the number who are leaving).

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

The local authority with the least youth appeal was Melton in Leicestershire (despite the pork pies) followed closely by Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire.

North of the border, Glasgow ranked highest for Scotland, while Cardiff was deemed the best borough for young people in Wales.

Credit: Unsplash
Credit: Unsplash

The study also looked at the number of young people in every area.

West Dorset had the least 16-25 year olds in Britain, while Oxford had the highest.

"This is really is 'news you can use' for young people in Britain," enthused Debbie Ramsay, Editor of BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat.

"To be able to select an area that might better suit your lifestyle is an invaluable tool for under 26 year-olds who are making important decisions about the way they live.

"It's been a mammoth project combining the best BBC News data journalists with the storytelling expertise of Newsbeat."

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash

Amelia Jones

Amelia is a freelance journalist and editor specialising in beauty, health, fitness and lifestyle. She has previously worked for titles including Women's Health, Cosmopolitan, Stylist, Red and the Mail on Sunday. Follow her on Instagram @ameliajeanjones or contact her via email at

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