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Edinburgh and Aberdeen in top ten UK cities to live and work

The annual Demos-PwC index is based on 11 indicators such as employment, health and income.

Cities: Edinburgh and Aberdeen in top ten cities to live and work.
Cities: Edinburgh and Aberdeen in top ten cities to live and work. CC by Colin Smith / Kim Traynor

Edinburgh and Aberdeen have been listed among the top ten cities to live and work in the UK, according to new research.

Ranked ninth place last year, Aberdeen rose three places to sixth, overtaking the Scottish capital, which remained in seventh.

Glasgow also featured in the Demos-PwC Good Growth for Cities Index, moving up one place to 24.

The index uses a basket of 11 indicators including employment, health, income, skills, housing affordability, commuting times and environmental factors to assess 42 cities for its national index.

Oxford retained its place as the top ranked city in the UK this year, followed by Reading, Southampton, Bristol and Milton Keynes.

Having fallen outside the top ten in 2017, Aberdeen's rise to top position for Scotland is attributed to improvements in health, work-life balance, housing affordability and income distribution.

It is the best-performing city in the UK when measuring house prices relative to earnings but the worst performing on the jobs metric.

In Edinburgh, income distribution was the worst performing variable while transport - which takes commuting times into account - was the best.

For Glasgow, jobs was the city's best scoring indicator, with other stand-outs including work-life balance, skills and income distribution.

'This year's index shows that despite widespread perceptions, Scotland is becoming a less affordable place to live, with owner occupation down across the board.'
Stewart Wilson, PwC Scotland

A separate regional index covering 11 cities in the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has Inverness in first place, ahead of Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Perth.

Stirling was the lowest-placed Scottish city on the list, in ninth.

For this index, Scottish cities performed well regarding job creation, income, skills development and environment, but were below par in new business creation.

Stewart Wilson, of PwC Scotland, said: "Scotland is in an incredibly advantageous position as the world moves into a new age where digitalisation and climate change dominate business and political agendas.

"With huge natural resources and a commitment to lower emissions, this year's Good Growth for Cities index shows that Scotland's key cities are outperforming the national average in carbon emissions per average earnings, and in improving skills.

"Challenges remain, of course. This year's index shows that despite widespread perceptions, Scotland is becoming a less affordable place to live, with owner occupation down across the board.

"Edinburgh and Stirling have also seen notable decreases in income distribution. Health also continues to be a drag on Scotland's cities performance, which reinforces the requirement to alleviate long-term sickness issues.

"As a country known for its entrepreneurial spirit and successes, it's disappointing to see our cities underperform in new business creation."

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