City monitor

There is considerable variation in the economic performance of cities and towns across the UK. The purpose of this chapter is to show the scale and nature of this variation by highlighting the performance of the 63 largest urban areas31 on 17 indicators covering:

  • Population
  • Productivity
  • Employment
  • Skills
  • Wages
  • Housing
  • Business dynamics
  • Digital connectivity
  • Innovation
  • Environment

For most indicators, the 10 strongest and 10 weakest performing places are presented.

Population

  • In 2018, cities accounted for 9 per cent of land, but for 54 per cent of the UK population (36 million) and for 56 per cent of population growth between 2017 and 2018.
  • The four biggest cities (London, Birmingham, Manchester and Glasgow) accounted for almost a quarter of the total UK population (24 per cent) and for 45 per cent of the total population living in cities.
  • London alone was home to 15 per cent of the UK population and accounted for 23 per cent of all population growth in the UK between 2017 and 2018.
  • Every city has experienced population growth compared to 10 years ago but, in eight cities, population declined compared to 2018. This is twice as many cities compared to 2017, when only four cities saw a decline.

Table 1: Population growth

 

Rank

 

City

Growth rate, 2017-18 (%) Population,

2017

Population,

2018

Change, 2017-18
 10 fastest-growing cities by population
1 Coventry 1.8 360,150 366,790 6,640
2 Wakefield 1.2 340,790 345,040 4,250
3 Exeter 1.2 128,920 130,430 1,510
4 Telford 1.2 175,770 177,800 2,030
5 Peterborough 1.1 198,910 201,040 2,130
6 Newport 1.1 243,750 246,350 2,600
7 Bristol 1.1 738,280 746,050 7,770
8 Edinburgh 1.0 513,210 518,500 5,290
9 Reading 1.0 328,060 331,180 3,120
10 London 0.9 10,062,280 10,151,260 88,980
 10 slowest-growing cities by population
54 Dundee 0.0 148,710 148,750 40
55 Plymouth 0.0 263,070 263,100 30
56 Hull 0.0 260,670 260,650 -20
57 Warrington -0.1 209,700 209,550 -150
58 Oxford -0.2 154,580 154,330 -250
59 Northampton -0.2 225,660 225,150 -510
60 Luton -0.3 214,660 214,110 -550
61 Aldershot -0.3 184,580 184,020 -560
62 Aberdeen -0.5 228,800 227,560 -1240
63 Ipswich -0.7 138,480 137,530 -950
  United Kingdom 0.6 66,040,230 66,435,550 395,320

Source: ONS, 2019, Population estimates, 2017 and 2018 data.

Employment rate

  • Overall, the UK employment rate continued to increase in 2019, and was up by 0.6 percentage points compared to 2018. The city average (73 per cent) was unchanged, and remained slightly lower than the national average (76 per cent).
  • Thirty-four cities had employment rates below the national average. To bring these cities up to the current UK average, a further 513,600 residents in these places would need to find employment.
  • Bradford, the UK city with the lowest employment rate in 2019 (66 per cent), would need 29,600 of its residents to find employment to reach the UK average. Birmingham remains the city with the highest deficit in absolute terms (-113,000) despite an increase in its employment rate (1.4 percentage points).
  • Large cities tend to fare worse than smaller cities. Two of them – Birmingham and Liverpool – are among the cities with the lowest employment rate. Only Bristol features in the top 10 cities with the highest employment rate.

Table 2: Employment rate

 

Rank

 

City

Employment rate, Jul 2018-Jun 2019 (%) Employment rate, Jul 2017-Jun 2018 (%) Percentage point change
10 cities with highest employment rate
1 Oxford 82.4 81.3 1.1
2 Aldershot 82.2 78.9 3.4
3 Ipswich 81.8 76.4 5.4
4 Southend 80.4 82.9 -2.5
5 Cambridge 80.4 75.2 5.1
6 Reading 79.7 78.3 1.3
7 Northampton 79.5 76.5 3.0
8 Preston 79.4 82.8 -3.4
9 Bristol 79.0 79.2 -0.1
10 Bournemouth 78.9 76.5 2.4
 10 cities with lowest employment rate
54 Swansea 69.9 67.7 2.2
55 Luton 69.8 69.7 0.1
56 Sunderland 69.7 71.0 -1.3
57 Liverpool 68.6 68.4 0.2
58 Blackburn 68.4 64.2 4.2
59 Burnley 68.4 71.5 -3.2
60 Birmingham 68.3 66.9 1.4
61 Middlesbrough 68.3 67.8 0.5
62 Dundee 66.8 65.1 1.7
63 Bradford 66.3 68.1 -1.8
United Kingdom 75.5 74.9 0.6

Source: ONS 2019, Annual Population Survey, July 2017 – June 2018 and July 2018 – June 2019. DfE NI 2019, District Council Labour Market Structure Statistics for Belfast, 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 data.

Unemployment benefit claimant count

  • More than two-thirds (72 per cent) of those claiming unemployment benefits lived in cities in November 2019.
  • The claimant count rate in cities is at 3.3 per cent, more than twice the average rate for elsewhere in the country and only 18 cities have a claimant count rate lower than the UK average of 2.6 per cent.
  • None of the 10 cities with the highest claimant counts are in the North or Midlands, with Dundee being the only exception.
  • Eight of the 10 cities with the lowest claimant counts are in the South, with York and Edinburgh being the exceptions.

Table 3: Unemployment benefit claimant count

 

Rank

 

City

Claimant count rate,

Nov 2019 (%)

 10 cities with the lowest claimant count rate
1 York 1.3
2 Aldershot 1.3
3 Exeter 1.5
4 Cambridge 1.5
5 Oxford 1.9
6 Edinburgh 1.9
7 Reading 1.9
8 Bristol 2.2
9 Portsmouth 2.3
10 Norwich 2.4
 10 cities with the highest claimant count rate
54 Newcastle 4.5
55 Liverpool 4.6
56 Dundee 4.6
57 Middlesbrough 4.7
58 Bradford 4.8
59 Blackburn 4.8
60 Sunderland 4.9
61 Blackpool 5.0
62 Hull 5.3
63 Birmingham 5.5
  United Kingdom 2.6

Source: ONS 2019, Claimant Count, November 2019 data. ONS 2019, Population estimates, 2018 data.

Note: The data differs to ONS claimant count rates as latest available population estimates are used to calculate the figures above.

Wages

  • In 2019, the average weekly workplace wage in cities was £612, compared to the UK average of £571.
  • Only 13 cities had wages above the UK average, with London’s average weekly workplace wage being 35 per cent above the national average.
  • Derby maintains its position as the only English city not in the Greater South East in the top 10, while Southend maintains its position as the only city in the Greater South East to be in the bottom 10.

Table 4: Average workplace earnings

 

Rank

 

City

Wages, 2019 (av £ per week, 2019 prices) Wages, 2018 (av £ per week, 2019 prices) Real wages growth 2018-2019 (£ per week)
 10 cities with the highest weekly workplace earnings
1 London 768 768 0
2 Slough 731 660 71
3 Aldershot 707 662 45
4 Reading 678 684 -6
5 Derby 668 638 29
6 Cambridge 656 671 -15
7 Milton Keynes 651 623 29
8 Aberdeen 636 616 20
9 Crawley 617 655 -38
10 Oxford 608 624 -16
 10 cities with the lowest weekly workplace earnings
54 Preston 489 514 -25
55 Leicester 487 475 12
56 Mansfield 485 512 -27
57 Norwich 484 478 6
58 Stoke 483 473 10
59 Swansea 478 478 0
60 Wigan 478 446 31
61 Burnley 467 492 -25
62 Huddersfield 463 451 11
63 Southend 450 448 2
  United Kingdom 571 566 5

Source: ONS 2019, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), average gross weekly workplace-based earnings, 2019 and 2018 data; DfE NI 2019, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), average gross weekly workplace-based earnings, 2019 and 2018 data. Own calculations for PUA-levels weighted by num- ber of jobs, CPI inflation adjusted (2015=100). Earnings data is for employees only, whereas the rest of the tables use employment data.

Note: ASHE statistics are based on a sample survey, so the statistical significance of the results should be treated with caution.

Business starts and closures

  • Two out of three businesses (63 per cent) that started up in 2018 were located in cities. This has increased in recent years: in 2011, 58 per cent of business starts were in cities.
  • Despite this, only 13 cities had a start-up rate higher than the UK average of 57 per 10,000 population.
  • At the same time, 61 per cent of UK business closures occurred in cities in 2018.
  • The three cities with the highest number of business closures – London, Manchester and Milton Keynes – were also among the top 10 cities for business start-ups.
  • Liverpool, Southampton and Brighton had the highest churn rate – these cities saw the greatest difference between new businesses setting up and existing businesses closing.

Table 5: Business starts and closures per 10,000 population

 

Rank

 

City

Business start-ups per 10,000 population, 2018 Business closures per 10,000 population, 2018 Churn rate*
10 cities with the highest start-up rate
1 London 105.0 84.9 3.0
2 Brighton 90.0 56.3 6.1
3 Manchester 82.1 76.7 1.1
4 Milton Keynes 81.0 60.9 3.6
5 Northampton 80.2 59.3 4.4
6 Southampton 80.0 52.9 6.4
7 Luton 74.7 56.3 4.6
8 Liverpool 73.8 49.3 7.0
9 Slough 72.8 56.0 3.5
10 Reading 67.2 57.7 1.8
 10 cities with the lowest start-up rate
54 Middlesbrough 36.5 33.1 1.2
55 Wakefield 35.5 34.1 0.5
56 Mansfield 34.5 28.6 2.2
57 Wigan 34.5 30.7 1.3
58 Dundee 34.3 29.9 1.7
59 Belfast 33.4 29.3 1.2
60 Stoke 33.2 30.8 0.9
61 Hull 31.7 27.8 1.5
62 Plymouth 31.2 27.0 1.7
63 Sunderland 27.6 27.0 0.2
  United Kingdom 57.3 50.5 1.5

Source: ONS 2019, Business Demography, 2018 data. ONS 2019, Population estimates, 2018 data.

*Difference between start-ups and business closures as a percentage of total business stock.

 

Business stock

  • Cities were home to 56 per cent of all UK businesses in 2018.
  • However, only 10 cities had a higher business stock per 10,000 population than the UK average (442).
  • London alone accounted for 23 per cent of the total UK business stock and for 42 per cent of total cities’ business stock, far larger than Manchester and Birmingham (accounting for 4 per cent and 3 per cent of the total UK business stock respectively).
  • London also ranked first for business stock per capita, with 677 businesses per 10,000 population.

Table 6: Business stock per 10,000 population

 

Rank

 

City

Business stock per 10,000 population, 2018 Business stock per 10,000 population, 2017 Change, 2017-18 (%)
 10 cities with the highest number of businesses
1 London 677 678 -0.2
2 Milton Keynes 553 545 1.6
3 Brighton 551 526 4.6
4 Reading 539 541 -0.4
5 Warrington 510 536 -4.8
6 Aldershot 489 491 -0.4
7 Slough 483 472 2.5
8 Manchester 474 463 2.4
9 Northampton 471 476 -1.0
10 Basildon 465 464 0.1
 10 cities with the lowest number of businesses
54 Barnsley 284 282 0.7
55 Middlesbrough 282 282 -0.2
56 Swansea 282 265 6.2
57 Stoke 278 278 -0.1
58 Mansfield 270 273 -0.9
59 Hull 262 264 -0.8
60 Dundee 254 252 1.0
61 Plymouth 247 250 -1.0
62 Sunderland 229 234 -1.9
  United Kingdom 442 443 0.1

Source: ONS 2019, Business Demography, 2017 and 2018 data. ONS 2019, Population estimates, 2018 data. Note: Luton has been removed from the latest data due to irregularities compared with previous years’ data.

Private sector jobs growth

  • Between 2017 and 2018, the number of private sector jobs increased slightly faster in cities (1.2 per cent) than the country as a whole (1.0 per cent).
  • In 2018, 59 per cent of all private sector jobs were located in cities, and 70 per cent of the 190,500 jobs created between 2017 and 2018 were created in cities.
  • Forty cities increased their number of private sector jobs compared to 2017, and 30 did so by more than the British average.
  • Four of the cities with the highest private sector jobs growth in 2017 were amongst the cities with the lowest private sector jobs growth in 2018. These were Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Bradford and York.

Table 7: Private sector jobs growth

 

Rank

 

City

Change, 2017-

2018 (%)

Private sector jobs, 2017 Private sector jobs, 2018 Net job gains or

losses

 

10 cities with the highest net private sector jobs growth

1 Blackburn 12.4 44,500 50,000 5,500
2 Edinburgh 7.8 231,000 249,000 18,000
3 Derby 5.2 95,500 100,500 5,000
4 Manchester 4.4 917,000 957,500 40,500
5 Newport 4.3 80,500 84,000 3,500
6 Barnsley 4.3 58,500 61,000 2,500
7 Leeds 4.2 348,000 362,500 14,500
8 Oxford 3.3 61,500 63,500 2,000
9 Chatham 3.1 64,500 66,500 2,000
10 Crawley 3.1 81,500 84,000 2,500
 

10 cities with the lowest net private sector jobs growth

53 Newcastle -1.2 285,500 282,000 -3,500
54 Cardiff -1.3 149,500 147,500 -2,000
55 Birmingham -1.8 809,500 795,000 -14,500
56 York -2.0 76,500 75,000 -1,500
57 Swindon -2.1 96,500 94,500 -2,000
58 Middlesbrough -2.3 129,000 126,000 -3,000
59 Sunderland -2.9 87,500 85,000 -2,500
60 Bradford -3.1 145,500 141,000 -4,500
61 Gloucester -3.4 44,000 42,500 -1,500
62 Luton -3.5 72,000 69,500 -2,500
  Great Britain 1.0 22,733,500 22,952,000 218,500

Source: ONS 2019, Business Register and Employment Survey, 2017 and 2018 data. Note: Northern Ireland data not available, so the figure for Great Britain is shown.

Public and private sector jobs

  • In 2018, the private to public sector employment ratio in Great Britain was 2.9.
  • In general, the job market in cities tends to be more dominated by publicly-funded activities than the national average. Out of 62 cities, only 19 had private to public employment ratios above the British average.
  • Crawley had the highest private to public sector ratio, with seven private- sector jobs for each public one. At the other end of the spectrum, Oxford had almost the same number of private and public sector employees, mainly the result of its universities.

Table 7: Ratio of private sector to publicly-funded jobs

 

Rank

 

City

Private to public ratio, 2018 Private sector jobs, 2018 Publicly-funded jobs, 2018*
10 cities with the highest proportion of private sector jobs
1 Crawley 7.3 84,000 11,500
2 Slough 4.8 70,000 14,500
3 Warrington 4.4 111,000 25,500
4 Swindon 4.0 94,500 23,500
5 Aldershot 3.8 85,500 22,500
6 London 3.7 4,645,000 1,261,500
7 Milton Keynes 3.7 145,000 39,500
8 Reading 3.6 153,500 42,500
9 Peterborough 3.5 92,000 26,000
10 Basildon 3.4 67,000 20,000
 10 cities with the lowest proportion of private sector jobs
53 Liverpool 2.0 212,500 107,500
54 Gloucester 1.9 42,500 22,000
55 Plymouth 1.9 72,500 38,500
56 Exeter 1.8 61,000 33,500
57 Birkenhead 1.8 66,500 37,500
58 Swansea 1.7 102,500 59,000
59 Dundee 1.6 47,000 30,000
60 Cambridge 1.5 65,500 43,000
61 Worthing 1.5 29,500 20,000
62 Oxford 1.1 63,500 59,000
  Great Britain 2.9 22,952,000 7,862,500

Source: ONS 2019, Business Register and Employment Survey, 2018 data.

Note: Northern Ireland data not available so the figure for Great Britain is shown.

*Publicly-funded jobs are defined as those jobs that fall into the sectors of public administration and defence, education, and health. This means that this definition captures private sector jobs in these sectors but also captures jobs such as GPs and those in universities that the standard ONS definition does not.

Innovation

  • In total, there were about 7,800 patent applications in 2018. Of these, 48 per cent were in cities.
  • The overall number of patent applications fell compared to the previous year. In 2018, there were on average 12 patent applications per 100,000 residents, an average of six patents fewer than in 2017.
  • Cambridge continues to be the city with the highest number of published patent applications.
  • The top 10 cities for patent applications accounted for 17 per cent of all applications in the country and for 35 per cent of all applications in cities.

Table 9: Patent applications published per 100,000 residents

 

Rank

 

City

UK patent applications published per 100,000 residents, 2018
 10 cities with highest number of published patent applications
1 Cambridge 148.1
2 Coventry 95.5
3 Oxford 64.5
4 Derby 61.0
5 Aldershot 39.0
6 Aberdeen 34.1
7 Edinburgh 31.6
8 Gloucester 24.0
9 Bristol 20.1
10 Birkenhead 19.9
 10 cities with lowest number of published patent applications
54 Liverpool 5.4
55 Sunderland 4.9
56 Glasgow 4.4
57 Southend 4.3
58 Luton 4.3
59 Doncaster 4.1
60 Ipswich 4.1
61 Barnsley 3.6
62 Wakefield 2.9
63 Wigan 2.6
  United Kingdom 11.9

Source: PATSTAT 2019, January-November 2018 data. Intellectual Property Office 2019, Patents granted registered by postcode, January-October 2018 data. ONS 2019, Population estimates, 2018 data.

Productivity

  • In 2018, productivity, measured as GDP per worker, was higher on average in cities (£71,100) compared to the national average (£68,900). In addition to this, GDP per worker saw a greater average increase in cities, rising by 2.9 per cent compared to a 2.3 per cent national average.
  • However, only 12 cities out of 62 had levels of productivity above the British average. With the exception of Edinburgh, all of them are in the Greater South East.
  • In 16 cities, productivity per worker was at least 20 per cent lower than the national average. In Blackburn, it was almost 30 per cent lower than the national average.

Table 10: GDP per worker

Rank City GDP per worker, 2018 (£)
 10 cities with the highest GDP per worker
1 Slough 100,000
2 London 91,300
3 Swindon 86,800
4 Milton Keynes 84,800
5 Reading 83,800
6 Worthing 81,300
7 Luton 80,900
8 Edinburgh 75,100
9 Ipswich 75,100
10 Basildon 74,200
 10 cities with the lowest GDP per worker
53 Newcastle 53,500
54 Huddersfield 53,500
55 Doncaster 53,300
56 Barnsley 52,900
57 Blackpool 52,700
58 Oxford 52,200
59 Dundee 52,100
60 Newport 52,000
61 Mansfield 49,700
62 Blackburn 48,700
Great Britain 67,400

Source: ONS 2019, Regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 2018 data. ONS 2019, Business Register and Employment Survey, 2018 data.

Note: Northern Ireland data not available so the figure for Great Britain is shown.

High-level qualifications

  • Cities are home to 58 per cent of the UK working-age population with a degree or equivalent qualification.
  • However, the UK’s high-skilled population is concentrated in a few cities. The top 10 cities combined account for over 29 per cent of the UK’s high-skilled population (compared to 22 per cent of the working-age population).
  • In 2018, 43 cities had a share of population with high-level qualifications lower than the UK average (39 per cent), less than in 2017, when 46 cities were below the national average.
  • Scottish cities perform particularly well on this measure, and three out of four are now in the top 10 for share of population with high-level qualifications.
  • Eight of the 10 cities with the lowest share of population with high-level qualifications do not have a university. Hull and Sunderland are in the bottom 10 despite having universities.

Table 11: Residents with high-level qualifications

 

Rank

 

City

Working age population with NVQ4 & above, 2018 (%)
 10 cities with the highest percentage of people with high qualifications
1 Oxford 63.2
2 Cambridge 61.4
3 Edinburgh 58.8
4 Reading 53.8
5 London 52.1
6 Aberdeen 48.9
7 York 47.9
8 Brighton 47.2
9 Cardiff 46.8
10 Glasgow 46.7
 10 cities with the lowest percentage of people with high qualifications
54 Southend 26.9
55 Burnley 26.2
56 Barnsley 25.8
57 Wakefield 25.4
58 Peterborough 25.1
59 Sunderland 25.0
60 Hull 24.2
61 Basildon 23.0
62 Doncaster 22.6
63 Mansfield 20.3
  United Kingdom 39.2

Source: ONS 2019, Annual Population Survey, resident analysis, 2018 data. DETINI 2019, District Council Area Statistics for Belfast, 2018 data.

No formal qualifications

  • Cities were also over-represented for people with no qualifications, although the share of people with no qualifications living in cities has slightly decreased compared to last year, from 59 to 58 per cent.
  • Despite accounting only for 10 per cent of the UK’s overall working-age population, the 10 cities with the highest share of population with no qualifications account for 15 per cent of all the national total.
  • Some cities have very polarised skills profiles: Glasgow had the 10th highest share of population with high qualifications but also the ninth highest proportion of population with no qualifications. Similarly, Dundee ranked 12th in terms of high qualifications but also had a high share of population with no formal qualifications (11 per cent).

Table 12: Residents with no formal qualifications

 

Rank

 

City

Percentage working age population with no formal qualifications, 2018 (%)
 10 cities with the lowest percentage of people with no formal qualifications
1 Bristol 4.1
2 Exeter 4.3
3 Gloucester 4.9
4 Southampton 4.9
5 Bournemouth 5.1
6 Plymouth 5.2
7 Crawley 5.2
8 Norwich 5.3
9 Reading 5.4
10 York 5.5
 10 cities with the highest percentage of people with no formal qualifications
52 Mansfield 11.8
53 Glasgow 11.9
54 Blackburn 12.4
55 Middlesbrough 12.5
56 Luton 13.2
57 Birmingham 13.3
58 Bradford 13.8
59 Leicester 14.6
60 Belfast 15.9
61 Burnley 19.6
  United Kingdom 8.0

Source: ONS 2019, Annual Population Survey, resident analysis, 2018 data. DETINI 2019, District Council Area Statistics for Belfast, 2018 data.

Note: Oxford and Belfast were excluded due to incomplete data.

Housing stock growth

  • In 2018, cities accounted for 52 per cent of the UK’s housing stock, but only for 49 per cent of new dwellings between 2017 and 2018.
  • Housing stock growth exceeded the UK average in 20 cities only.
  • For the third year, Cambridge is the city with the highest growth in housing stock and the city now has 16 per cent more homes than it did in 2008.
  • In absolute terms, London is the city that built the most (36,700) new houses. However, this represented a housing stock growth of 0.9 per cent, ranking London only 22nd nationally.

Table 13: Housing stock growth

Change 2017- Housing stock Housing stock Change 2017-
Rank City 2018 (%) 2017 2018 2018
10 cities with the highest housing stock growth
1 Cambridge 2.2 53,180 54,330 1,150
2 Reading 1.6 134,440 136,650 2,210
3 Slough 1.6 54,390 55,240 850
4 York 1.5 88,280 89,580 1,300
5 Telford 1.4 74,360 75,410 1,050
6 Milton Keynes 1.4 109,970 111,460 1,490
7 Leicester 1.3 199,210 201,860 2,650
8 Exeter 1.3 53,930 54,640 710
9 Plymouth 1.3 117,210 118,680 1,470
10 Edinburgh 1.2 246,818 249,810 2,992
10 cities with the lowest housing stock growth
54 Birkenhead 0.5 147,630 148,340 710
55 Blackburn 0.5 60,520 60,800 280
56 Basildon 0.4 77,350 77,690 340
57 Warrington 0.4 91,660 92,020 360
58 Brighton 0.4 155,440 156,000 560
59 Oxford 0.3 58,720 58,910 190
60 Cardiff 0.3 151,200 151,654 454
61 Dundee 0.2 74,354 74,531 177
62 Ipswich 0.2 61,070 61,210 140
63 Swansea 0.2 176,704 177,044 340
United Kingdom 0.9 28,747,674 29,003,410 255,736

Source: Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) 2019, Dwelling stock estimates by local authority district 2017 and 2018. Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics 2019, Dwelling stock estimates 2017 and 2018 data. Northern Ireland Neighbourhood information service 2019, Land and Property Services, 2017 and 2018 data.

House prices

  • House prices in Great Britain increased on average by 0.5 per cent compared to 2018, with 33 cities seeing an increase.
  • In 2019, house prices in London (£592,900) – the most expensive city – were almost twice the national average (£281,000), while house prices in Burnley (£106,800) – the least expensive city – were less than half the British average.
  • The most expensive cities are not necessarily those building the most. Basildon, Brighton and Oxford are among the top 10 most expensive cities, but have some of the lowest housing stock growth in the country. In contrast, Cambridge, Reading and Slough are also among the most expensive places, but they lead the table for house building.

Table 14: House price growth

 

Rank

 

City

Annual growth, 2018-2019 (%)  

Average price, 2018 (£)

 

Average price, 2019 (£)

Difference in average prices, 2018-2019 (£)
 10 cities with the highest rises in house prices
1 Aldershot 5.5 374,100 394,700 20,600
2 Dundee 5.0 137,300 144,200 6,900
3 Ipswich 4.0 208,700 217,000 8,300
4 Gloucester 3.7 206,000 213,700 7,700
5 Derby 2.8 173,600 178,500 4,900
6 Bournemouth 2.8 336,000 345,400 9,400
7 Luton 2.7 242,800 249,500 6,600
8 Brighton 2.2 390,800 399,300 8,600
9 York 2.0 270,000 275,300 5,300
10 Mansfield 1.9 150,800 153,800 2,900
 10 cities with the lowest rises in house prices
53 Wakefield -2.4 168,200 164,100 -4,100
54 Crawley -2.6 303,800 296,000 -7,800
55 Wigan -2.7 149,400 145,300 -4,100
56 Exeter -3.0 284,000 275,300 -8,700
57 Middlesbrough -3.3 146,200 141,400 -4,800
58 Peterborough -3.4 207,900 200,800 -7,100
59 Cambridge -3.7 533,800 514,200 -19,600
60 Blackpool -3.7 161,100 155,200 -5,900
61 Sunderland -3.9 135,400 130,100 -5,300
62 Milton Keynes -5.7 306,300 288,800 -17,500
  Great Britain 0.5 279,500 281,000 1,475

Source: Land Registry 2019, Market Trend Data, Price Paid, 2018 and 2019 data. Scottish neighbourhood statistics 2019, Mean House Prices, 2018 and 2019 data.

Note: Northern Ireland data not available so the figure for Great Britain is shown.

Housing affordability

  • In 2019, on average, house prices in Britain were 4 times the annual salary of residents. This is slightly more affordable than the previous year, where the affordability ratio was 9.8.
  • In total, only 15 out of 62 cities were less affordable than the British average.
  • Only 18 cities have become more affordable over the last decade. However, all of them were already among the most affordable places 10 years ago.

Table 15: Housing affordability ratio

Rank City Affordability ratio Average house price, 2019 (£) Annual wages, 2019 (£)
 10 cities with the highest affordability ratio
1 Oxford 17.2 501,300 29,100
2 London 15.8 592,900 37,500
3 Cambridge 15.3 514,200 33,700
4 Brighton 13.5 399,300 29,500
5 Bournemouth 12.1 345,400 28,500
6 Reading 11.7 404,600 34,600
7 Aldershot 11.3 394,700 35,000
8 Basildon 11.2 329,900 29,600
9 Bristol 10.8 308,200 28,400
10 Southend 10.8 337,100 31,300
 10 cities with the lowest affordability ratio
53 Middlesbrough 5.6 141,400 25,200
54 Dundee 5.6 144,200 25,800
55 Doncaster 5.5 141,800 25,600
56 Wigan 5.4 145,300 26,900
57 Stoke 5.4 135,800 25,300
58 Sunderland 5.4 130,100 24,300
59 Liverpool 5.3 142,600 26,900
60 Barnsley 5.3 139,400 26,500
61 Hull 5.3 118,100 22,500
62 Burnley 4.0 106,800 26,600
  Great Britain 9.4 281,000 29,800

Source: Land Registry 2019, Market Trend Data, Price Paid, 2019 data. Simple average used. Scottish House Price Statistics 2019, Mean House Prices, 2018 and 2019 data. ONS 2019, Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE), average gross weekly resident earnings, 2019 data.

Digital connectivity

  • The share of UK premises that had access to ‘ultrafast’ broadband (>100 Mbps) increased from 56 per cent in 2018 to 59 per cent in 2019.
  • In 54 out of 63 cities, the proportion of properties with access to ultrafast speeds exceeded the UK average.
  • Milton Keynes and Aberdeen experienced the largest growth in properties with access to ultrafast broadband (23 and 21 per centage point increases respectively).
  • While there is variation in the coverage of ultrafast broadband (>100 Mps), the next level down in speed, ‘superfast’ broadband (>30 Mbps), is more consistently available, with all cities having at least 90 per cent of their properties covered by ‘superfast’ broadband.

Table 16: Premises achieving ultrafast broadband speeds

Rank City Properties achieving ultrafast broadband, 2019 (%)
 10 cities with the highest ultrafast broadband penetration rate
1 Hull 98.7
2 Luton 95.4
3 Worthing 94.9
4 Belfast 94.4
5 Brighton 93.6
6 Cambridge 93.5
7 Dundee 93.3
8 Portsmouth 93.1
9 Plymouth 92.2
10 Ipswich 91.7
 10 cities with the lowest ultrafast broadband penetration rate
54 Huddersfield 63.2
55 Sunderland 58.2
56 Newport 58.1
57 Milton Keynes 55.2
58 Sheffield 53.3
59 Southend 49.4
60 Barnsley 49.3
61 Wakefield 44.7
62 Doncaster 44.6
63 Aberdeen 23.3
United Kingdom 58.8

Source: Thinkbroadband.com, percentage of premises covered with ultrafast broadband (>100 Mbps) as at the end of 2019. http://labs.thinkbroadband.com/local/postcode-search. Ultrafast coverage figures include FTTP (fibre to the premises) coverage only, and do not include business grade leased line services and other on-demand connectivity solutions. To qualify as covered by FTTP, fibre must reach to the kerb near premises, with no additional construction required. Aberdeen has a low proportion of such FTTP but other connectivity options are available.

CO2 emissions

  • In 2017, cities accounted for 54 per cent of the UK population but for only 45 per cent of the UK’s total CO2 emissions.
  • Average UK emissions per capita in 2017 totalled 5.3 tonnes (down from 5.5 tonnes in 2016), but the city average was lower at 4.5 tonnes.
  • Swansea and Middlesbrough are significant outliers, emitting far more than the national average. However, Middlesbrough has seen a fall in its emissions (down 8 per cent compared to 2016), while emissions in Swansea increased by 3 per cent compared to 2016.

Table 16: CO2 emissions per capita

 

Rank

 

City

Total CO2 emissions per capita, 2017 (t) Total CO2 emissions per capita, 2016 (t)
10 cities with the lowest emissions per capita
1 Ipswich 3.0 3.1
2 Worthing 3.1 3.3
3 Brighton 3.2 3.4
4 Southend 3.2 3.4
5 Luton 3.2 3.3
6 Chatham 3.3 3.3
7 Exeter 3.4 3.7
8 Plymouth 3.4 3.6
9 Bournemouth 3.5 3.7
10 London 3.6 3.8
 10 cities with the highest emissions per capita
54 Crawley 5.3 5.5
55 Aberdeen 5.4 5.7
56 Barnsley 5.6 5.7
57 Wakefield 5.8 6.3
58 Preston 5.8 6.0
59 Newport 6.1 6.6
60 Warrington 6.6 7.0
61 Doncaster 6.7 6.7
62 Middlesbrough 12.1 13.1
63 Swansea 22.4 21.9
  United Kingdom 5.3 5.5

Source: Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) 2019, CO2 emissions per capita, 2017 and 2016 data. ONS 2017, Population estimates 2016 and 2017 data.

Footnotes

  • 31 Data for Bournemouth in this chapter reflects the geography of the new BCP local authority area.