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The UK’s top and bottom cities for disposable income revealed for 2020: Aberdeen tops list, while Brighton is last

  • The average disposable income across the UK is £889, an 18% decrease from 2018’s figure.
  • Aberdeen’s residents have £1,275 of disposable income per month, the highest of any city in the UK.
  • Those in Brighton continue to receive the least with just £618 spare per month.

19 August 2020, LONDON –

Aberdeen is the city where residents have the most disposable income in the UK according to personal finance comparison site

Aberdeen’s locals enjoy an average of £1,275 to spend per month after tax, bills and general (essential) outings such as travel and food, this is 43% above the national average of £889 per month.

The national average has dropped by 18% since 2018 when the average disposable income in the UK was £1,083 per month.

The analysis compared the average local salaries of each city against local rent and other standard monthly outgoings for 30 UK cities to find who has the most, and least, disposable income.

Residents in Reading enjoy the second highest amount of disposable income per month at £1,262, helped by the local salary also being the second highest in the study (£2,465 per month). Coventry is the third “wealthiest” city, with locals keeping £1,195 each month.

Brighton was at the bottom of the scale when the study was carried out 2 years ago, and this continues to be the case in 2020. Local residents here are left with only £618 every month to spend on non-essentials, which is less than half the amount that those in Aberdeen have spare. Despite having a reasonable average income (£1,933) Brighton has the second highest living costs (£1,315) causing it to rank the worst.

The second “poorest” city for disposable income is Cambridge, where a below average monthly salary (£1,864) and expensive monthly outgoings (£1,217), leaves locals with just £648 every month. The third worst city to live in for spare cash is Nottingham, where the figure is £659.

Unsurprisingly, Londoners have the highest average wage in the country of £2,804 per month as well as the highest outgoings of £1,700, which is £386 more than any other city. Despite this, their disposable income per month is £1,103, which sits £214 above the UK average. This places the capital as the city with the 5th highest amount of disposable income, up from 14th place 2 years ago and highlighting how the cost of living and rent in other cities are catching up with the capital.

Top 5 cities for disposable income

1. Aberdeen – £1,275
2. Reading – £1,262
3. Coventry – £1,195
4. Lincoln – £1,150
5. London – £1,103

Bottom 5 cities for disposable income

1. Brighton – £618
2. Cambridge – £648
3. Nottingham – £659
4. Norwich – £693
5. Hull – £695

Commenting on the findings, Matt Boyle, banking and mortgages expert at, said:

“Rent prices are on the rise across the UK and as you would expect this means that the overall amount of disposable income Brits have has decreased. It’s surprising to see that London has ranked in fifth position, however, this is likely a result of falling rent prices in the capital, which is going against the overall trend in the UK. There is some disparity in salaries across the UK, so if you are looking to relocate it’s definitely worth considering how much it’s going to cost you to live there rather than just being attracted to a higher wage. The results show a high wage doesn’t always equate to a decent disposable income.

“If where you live is more on the expensive side it may be worth using budgeting apps or getting a digital bank account that helps you to budget and keep on top of your spending. This will allow you to allocate money for savings or just help you to avoid overstretching yourself financially.”

To see the research in full visit:

The study looks at 30 cities in the UK that were selected due to their population. The rent for an individual in each city was calculated by dividing the rent by six, to get an approximate figure for the rent a single person could expect to pay. Disposable income was found by subtracting the calculated rent and an individual’s monthly costs away from the average monthly income after tax.

Data sources used: Numbeo, Thinktank for centres and ONS.


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