Cheapest Place to Live In UK 2024Dr Shafiq
Have you wondered what the cheapest place to Live in UK is? It’s the question you secretly dread. Whenever you are choosing a place to live in the United Kingdom, you must keep two things in mind: affordability and safety. Although individual needs and budget have a big role here, property prices and living expenses also play key roles. Let’s dig a little deeper.
Understanding Cost of Living and Safety
When searching for the best and cheapest place to live in UK, you have to understand what factors determine the living costs. The cost of living in any part of the world varies depending on several factors, such as:
- Location: Living expenses vastly depend on the location. The cost of living is typically high in London compared to other major cities and smaller towns in the UK.
- Housing: Housing is another major expense in overall living costs. Rents and housing prices are particularly high in major cities of the UK compared to smaller towns.
- Transportation: Transportation makes up a considerable portion of living expenses, whether public or private. It can include the cost of owning a car, insurance, fuel, parking, maintenance, and public transport passes.
- Food: Food is an essential element in living expenses. The cost of food is generally high in the UK, but you can reduce it by cooking at home.
- Utilities: Utility expenses like gas, electricity, and water are also part of your living expenses, and they are relatively expensive in the UK.
Safety should be your top priority in choosing a place to live in the UK. No matter how affordable a place is, you should not choose it if it is unsafe enough. Make sure to consider factors like crime rate, violent crime, property crime, theft, and other anti-social behavior to ensure your safety.
Top 10 Cheapest Places to Live in the UK
Bradford, West Yorkshire
Bradford is the fifth largest city in Yorkshire and the Humber region, with around 530,000 population. The city has a reputation for a vibrant culture and diverse population.
The cost of living in Bradford is comparatively lower than other cities in the UK. You can get a one-bedroom apartment at a rent of around 600 GBP per month. Food and transportation cost is also relatively lower here. Although the crime rate is slightly higher than the national average, the city is still considered to be safe to live in.
Bradford is an excellent place for living for students. The city and its surroundings have several colleges and universities, including the University of Bradford and Bradford College. It’s a multicultural city with a diverse population and lower living expenses, making it the cheapest place to live in UK for students.
Stroke-on-Trent is a city of Staffordshire and the third largest one in the Midlands, right after Birmingham and Wolver Hampton. This city is known for its pottery industry and has a lower cost of living compared to other major cities in the UK.
According to the Numbeo, Stoke-on-Trent has a rating of 78.34 on the cost of living index, which is much lower than the national average of 100. This means you will have to spend 21% less on your living expenses in this city compared to the rest of the UK. The crime rate here is also pretty low, with 77 crimes per 1,000 people, which is lower than the national average of 87 crimes per 1,000 people.
Stoke-on-Trent is a great place of living for local and international students. It is because of the low cost of living, good transportation links, welcoming local community, and plenty of activities to do.
Belfast, Northern Ireland
Belfast is the capital of Northern Ireland and is a relatively affordable city to live in compared to other major cities in the UK. Its cost of living index rating is 82.19. So, you can expect to spend 18% less on your living expenses, goods, and services.
Belfast is a safe city to live in. The Crime Survey for England and Wales shows the city has a crime rate of 65 crimes per 1,000 people. It is much lower than the national average. However, some parts of Belfast are more crime-prone than the rest. So, you must stay aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions.
There are several world-renowned universities in Belfast, including Queen’s University Belfast and the University of Ulster. As a result, students live in this city in a large number. Friendly and welcoming local people make it a great place for students, especially international students. Plus, the city offers adequate transportation links and plenty of things to do.
Hull, East Yorkshire
Hull is an affordable city in East Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The cost of living here is around 10% lower than the national average, making it an excellent, cost-effective option of living for both students and residents. An average two-bedroom apartment’s rent in this city is around 650 GBP per month.
In terms of crime rate and safety, Hull is a relatively safe city with a low crime rate. There are about 45.2 crimes per 1000 workday people in the Hull postcode area. The most common crimes in Hull are theft and vandalism, which are considered minor offenses. However, several safety initiatives are in place, such as Neighborhood Watch Program and Safer Hull Partnership.
Hull has a number of universities and colleges, including the University of Hull, the University of Lincoln, and Hull College. As a result, a large number of students live in this city. The city has a rich history and culture with many outdoor activities, making it a great place for both residents and students.
Sunderland, North East England
Sunderland is an affordable city in North East England with a population of around 300,000 people. It is also about 10% lower in terms of living expenses compared to the national average. Accommodation, food, and transportation are relatively cheaper for students in Sunderland.
It is generally a safe city for students, with an annual crime rate of 49.2 crimes per 1,000 people. However, as with any city, you should be careful about your surroundings and avoid things like walking alone at night. Several safety programs are in place to keep the students and residents of this city safe.
International and local students enjoy several benefits in Sunderland. Some advantages include affordability, good transportation links, friendly local people, and many things to do.
Swansea City in Wales is around 5% cheaper than the national average. The average rent of a one-bedroom apartment is about 500 GBP, and a single person can expect to pay 1,200 GBP monthly expenses in this city. Transportation, groceries, and entertainment all are affordable in Swansea.
The streets of Swansea are well-lit and patrolled by law enforcement agencies, making it a very safe city. Swansea witnessed 81 crimes per 1,000 people in 2022. Being an affordable and safe city, the students and residents in Swansea enjoy many advantages.
The city offers many cheap accommodation options for students. Universities like Swansea University, the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, and the University of South Wales make it an excellent place for higher studies. Besides, plenty of job opportunities, a vibrant culture, and plenty of outdoor activities make it a great place for Swansea residents.
Blackpool is a seaside town and a popular tourist destination in Lancashire with beautiful beaches, amusement parks, and nightlife. The cost of living here is relatively lower than in major cities of the UK, with a single person’s living expenses of around 1,100 GBP.
This beautiful beach town has a very low crime rate of around 54 crimes per 1,000 people, making it a safe destination for students, residents, and tourists. However, some Blackpool areas have petty crimes like theft and snitching. Although police keep patrolling the streets, make sure you avoid carrying valuable stuff while walking alone and stay careful.
Blackpool has many advantages to offer for both students and residents. The town is home to several universities and colleges, including the University of Central Lancashire and the Fylde College. It also offers affordable housing, plenty of affordable restaurants and shops, a low crime rate, vibrant beaches, and many outdoor recreation.
Derby is a city in the East Midlands and a hub of engineering, manufacturing, and transportation. The cost of housing in Derby is lower than in many parts of the UK, with a one-bedroom apartment average rent of 600 GBP. Numbeo says Derby is around 10% cheaper than the national average. A meal for two people in a mid-level restaurant can cost around 40 GBP.
Derby has an active police presence throughout the city, making it a safe city for students and residents. The annual crime rate here is only 44.4 per 1,000 people. Law enforcement agencies in Derby have adequate measures in place to contain the crime rate. But you should stay careful and take precautions like not walking alone at night and locking your doors and windows.
Derby is a great city for students and residents. It has two universities: the University of Derby and the University of Derby Business School. Plus, it is an affordable city with plenty of things to do, making it a great option for local and international students.
Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
With its 130,000 population, Middlesbrough is the largest town in the Tees Valley of North Yorkshire. It is known for its steel industry and affordable living for residents. The average cost of houses in Middlesbrough is GBP 175,000, which is below the national average of GBP 250,000.
The average house rent in the town is GBP 483 per month. Transportation, food, and utilities are also affordable there. The town is safe as well, with a lower crime rate than the national average. The police force plays an active role in containing crimes and ensuring a safe environment for residents.
Middlesbrough has the University of Teesside and many other colleges. So, there are plenty of affordable student accommodations for students. It is overall an affordable town for students and residents.
Last but not least, Aberdeen is one of the cheapest places to live in the UK for students. Housing in this city is 30% lower than in London, and overall living expense is 10% lower. The average cost of living for a single person in Aberdeen is around GBP 1,100. This makes it a great option for local and international students.
In terms of safety and security, Aberdeen has a low crime rate, with only 34 crimes per 1,000 people annually. The city constantly ranks among the top safest cities in the UK. As a result, students feel very safe while walking on the streets at night, and the chance of becoming victims for them is very low.
Aberdeen is a great place for international students. It has many renowned universities like the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, and the University of the Highlands and Islands. It is a multicultural city with a welcoming environment.
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Comparing the Cheapest Places to Live in the UK
The following table shows a comparative picture of the 10 cheapest places to live in the UK:
|City||Cost of Living Index||Crime Rate|
|Bradford, West Yorkshire||57.19||70.65|
|Belfast, Northern Ireland||63.6||49.49|
|Hull, East Yorkshire||54.3||59.79|
|Sunderland, North East England||59.63||54.55|
|Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire||64.36||53.63|
You should consider several factors while choosing the cheapest and safest place to live in the UK. Here are they:
- Quality of life
- Job opportunities
- Cost of living
Tips for Relocating to a Cheaper Area
Recommendations for Adjusting to New Areas
If you plan to relocate to a new, cheaper area- you must research and learn about the place as much as you can. You must know things like the cost of living, crime rate, job market, and local amenities. Make sure to visit the place yourself before you make up your mind.
Tips for International Students Moving to the UK
Here are some pro tips for international students who are moving to the UK:
- Start planning your journey as early as possible.
- Do your research about the place well.
- If needed, get help from an immigration lawyer.
- Make sure to connect with other international students in the UK.
Advice on Finding Affordable and Safe Housing in the Cheapest Places in the UK
- Use online resources to find the safest, cheapest place in the UK
- Look in the less popular neighborhood for accommodation.
- Have a mindset to compromise.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does “cheaper” necessarily mean a lower quality of life?
Not at all! Many of these affordable towns have rich histories, vibrant communities, and great amenities. The cost of living is often lower due to economic factors like employment rates and local industry.
How do the northern towns compare with the south in terms of affordability?
Generally speaking, the North of England tends to be more affordable than the South, especially when compared to places like London and the Southeast. Cities like Manchester and Liverpool provide a good mix of affordability and urban perks.
Are there cheap places to live near London?
There are some more affordable spots around the Greater London area, such as Luton and Basildon. Keep in mind, though, that “affordable” is relative; these places might still be pricier than towns further up north.
How does the cost of living compare between rural and urban areas?
Rural areas tend to be cheaper in terms of property prices. However, urban areas might offer more job opportunities and amenities. Think about what’s most important for your lifestyle when choosing.
Are there hidden costs associated with living in cheaper towns?
Sometimes. For instance, if you’re moving from a city with lots of job opportunities to a smaller, more affordable town, you might find fewer employment options. Also, commuting costs can add up if you need to travel for work or leisure.
How does the UK’s cost of living compare globally?
The UK, especially places like London, can be pricier than many other parts of the world. However, when looking at cheaper towns and cities in the UK, the cost can be comparable or even lower than in some other Western countries.
Are there benefits to living in cheaper areas beyond just cost?
Absolutely! Some people find a slower pace of life, tighter-knit communities, and the charm of lesser-known locales to be significant advantages.
How often does the “cheapest places” list change?
It can shift annually, influenced by economic growth, housing demands, and local policies. It’s always good to check recent data and trends before making a decision.
Living and studying in the UK is pretty expensive. But if you look closely, you will find the cheapest place to live in UK, which is also safer. You might have to compromise a bit, but try to balance affordability, safety, and quality of life well. Best of luck!