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Disposable income in the UK
Which cities in the UK have the highest and lowest living costs?
It’s no secret that prices and salaries vary widely across the UK, and with the cost of living increasing, many Brits are likely to resort to measures such as cost-cutting and taking advantage of financial offers like bank switching deals. Which cities are the best to live in if you want to benefit from the highest disposable income?
What is the average disposable income in the UK?
The average British adult living in a UK city has £782 a month in disposable income after paying taxes, bills and necessary living costs. This is £84 less a month (or £1,007 less a year) compared to 2022, when the average was £866.
What is the average disposable income in cities around the UK?
|Kingston Upon Hull||£779|
|Stoke on Trent||£764|
|Brighton & Hove||£600|
We studied the income and the cost of living in 41 cities around the UK to find out which cities have the most and least money to spare. For this analysis, disposable income means the money left over after paying for essentials, including taxes, bills and recurring monthly living costs.
Of the cities analysed, those in Colchester had the most disposable income each month, with an average of £1,100, 41% higher than the average in UK cities of £782. They are closely followed by Doncaster residents, who have an average of £1,068 to spare, and Milton Keynes residents, who have an average of £1,053 left over.
At the other end of the spectrum, residents in Nottingham had just £482 a month. Salaries in Nottingham were among some of the lowest in the cities analysed, but they still had higher living costs than 16 other cities, meaning those living here have less disposable income.
Which UK city has the highest living costs?
Unsurprisingly, London has the highest living costs of the UK cities analysed, with an average monthly spend of £2,196 on rent and basic costs. The cost of a single room to rent in London (£1,120.45) is 2.4 times higher than the average, so it’s no shock that living costs are so high in the capital.
The cheapest city on the list for living costs was Hull, where the average single Brit could expect to spend just £858.84 on rent and essentials.
The monthly living costs for a single person in most cities were between £1,000 and £1,600, with just London leaping ahead with living costs of over £2,000.
Just 4 cities on our list had monthly living costs of less than £1,000 a month, and these were Hull, Doncaster, Bradford and Stoke-on-Trent.
Which UK city has seen the biggest decrease in disposable income?
Those living in London have 44% less disposable income on average in 2023 compared to 2022. This is largely due to increases in rent but also the cost of living in the capital. This is by far the biggest change of all UK cities, with Newcastle coming in next with a decrease of 22%.
Just 2 cities in the analysis have seen an increase in disposable income compared to 2022. These are Norwich, with a decrease of 4% and Chester, with a decrease of 9%.
Overall, disposable income in UK cities has decreased by just under 10% year on year since 2022, and the average UK city dweller has just over £1000 less in disposable income for the year.
Full data for disposable income and living costs
- For rent, we found the total price per room of a 3-room apartment to get an approximate figure for the rent a single person could expect to pay.
- To get the disposable income figure for each city, we used ONS data to calculate the average monthly income in each city after taxes, then the monthly single person’s rent and living costs were subtracted from the average monthly income after tax.
- For our research, disposable income refers to the money left over after paying all essential costs, including taxes, rent, bills and living costs.
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