A recent survey, which looks at factors ranging from safety to housing affordability, has identified hotspots to live in and ones to avoid – with some surprising results.

What's the latest?

Two areas in Scotland have been crowned the best places in Great Britain for women to live, beating London's posh Islington and Westminster.

New analysis carried out for BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) revealed that East Dunbartonshire and East Renfewshire top the list of the best places for women to live.

They were followed by West Oxfordshire,  West Berkshire and South Oxfordshire.

At the other end of the spectrum the London borough of Islington was identified as the worst place for women to live, followed by Blackpool. 

Corby in Northamptonshire took third worst, while Boston in the East Midlands and Kingston upon Hull in Yorkshire and the Humber, made up the bottom five.

Sounds interesting. Tell me more.

The survey drew on a broad variety of indicators related to women's quality of life, such as income, housing affordability, safety, education, culture and the environment. It used data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and 380 local authorities.

Nancy Kelly, director of policy research at NatCen explained: "The top five local authorities are all relatively affluent areas that are either suburbs of cities, or part of the commuter belt for cities."

The worst areas were marked down due to a combination of poor housing affordability, low levels of wellbeing, lower pay and potential issues with community safety.

We've pulled together a snapshot of homes currently on the market in each of the top and bottom five areas.

Best places for women to live in Great Britain

1. East Dunbartonshire, Scotland

What's it like? Lies to the north of Glasgow and offers great scenery and a wide range of outdoor activities including fishing, rambling and golf. Rated highly on factors ranging from happiness to access to green spaces, and scored top points on general living and wellbeing.

Current average property value: £229,812 Above: Four-bedroom detached house, £225,000, Lennoxtown, East Dunbartonshire

2. East Renfrewshire, Scotland

What's it like? Located southwest of Glasgow, around 30 miles from the Firth of Clyde, this area is a well-known family holiday destination. 

Current average property value: £206,552Above: One-bedroom flat, £105,000, Muirend, East Renfrewshire

3. West Oxfordshire, England

What's it like? Mainly rural area, which encompasses Chipping Norton and part of the famous Cotswolds. With low unemployment rates and scoring well on safety and culture, it ranked especially highly for women aged under 30. 

Current average property value: £430,682 (across Oxfordshire)Above: Three-bedroom house, £475,000, Woodstock, West Oxfordshire

4. West Berkshire, England

What's it like? Semi-rural, and located between London and Bristol, this area's famous residents include Paddington Bear and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. 

Current average property value£417,293Above: Two-bedroom flat, £230,000, Thatcham, West Berkshire

5. South Oxfordshire, England

What's it like? This area encompasses Henley-on-Thames, home to the Bronze-Age Uffington White Horse, and Dorchester Abbey. South Oxfordshire ranked the highest for women in the over-65 age group.

Current average property value: £430,682 (across Oxfordshire) Above: Three-bedroom detached house, £765,000, Dorchester-on-Thames, South Oxfordshire

Worst places for women to live in Great Britain

1. Islington, London

What's it like? Housing in Islington is among the least affordable in Britain, with house prices at more than 16 times the local average income. Islington was ranked 369th out of 380 in crime, with 122 reported offences per 1,000 people. However, progressive gentrification has still turned this once neglected inner-London area into a well-heeled hotspot. 

Current average property value: £791,236Above: One-bedroom apartment, Angel, Islington, £650,000

2. Blackpool, North West

What's it like? Seaside resort, where tourists flock to enjoy sandy beaches, and visit landmarks such as the Blackpool Illuminations, in Lancashire.

Current average property value£123,029Above: Three-bedroom detached house, Blackpool, £330,000

3. Corby, East Midlands

What's it like? Corby's economy was historically based upon steel production, but more recent years have seen the Northamptonshire town benefit from regeneration projects.

Current average property value: £172,780Above: Three-bedroom detached bungalow, Corby, Northamptonshire, £299,995

4. Boston, East Midlands

What's it like? Market town in Lincolnshire, on the edge of the famous Wash.

Current average property value£167,595Above: Four-bedroom detached house, Boston, Lincolnshire, £415,000

5. Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire and The Humber

What's it like? The maritime city of Hull (as it's usually abbreviated to) is known for its pedestrian-friendly streets, big brands and independent shopping centres. Hull scored very well on housing affordability, but was ranked the worst place to live as a woman under the age of 30 due to high levels of unemployment.

Current average property value: £135,484Above: Three-bedroom semi-detached house, Hull, £187,000

Does your gender make any difference when it comes to the best places to live? Tell us by posting a comment below...

* DISQUS *
comments powered by Disqus