The Legatum Institute, a British think tank, just released a whole bunch of data from its “UK Geography of Prosperity” survey, part of the annual global Prosperity Index. The institute calculates prosperity by combining GDP per capita with people’s satisfaction with life in order to create a level of prosperity.
Along with releasing the data, the Legatum Institute also made an awesome interactive map to help us explore the UK. The map, along with the findings of the index, shows just how divided a city London is, and suggests that in general, Northern Ireland is the most prosperous part of the UK.
The research shows that London is home to 4 out of the top 5 most prosperous places in the UK. Hammersmith and Fulham, along with Kensington and Chelsea top the list, with Westminster, Wandsworth, and Camden and the City of London also representing the London area in the five most prosperous places in the UK.
Hammersmith & Fulham and Kensington & Chelsea may be the most prosperous places in Britain, but according to the Legatum Institute’s research people there aren’t particularly happy, ranking right in the middle of the pack. The residents have an average income of £133,000 ($ 204,000).
Despite the high rankings of some London areas, as a whole London only ranks 83rd in the index. This is thanks to the boroughs of Croydon, Brent, and Bexley & Greenwich being three of the ten least prosperous areas anywhere in the country. Their position at the bottom of the pile casts stark light on the huge gap between the haves and the have-nots in the capital.
As well as having some of the country’s most prosperous places, London also holds some of the most miserable. Out of the 10 places in the country that are the most miserable, four of them; Haringey and Islington, Croydon, Camden and the City of London, and Brent, are in the capital.
Outside of London, the only place in the five most prosperous regions is the Outer Hebrides or Eilean Sar, where the happiness of residents means that the region is one of Britain’s most prosperous, despite low average incomes.
The Outer Hebrides’ inclusion as one of the most prosperous areas is perhaps a little bit unusual considering that in a survey by uSwitch last week, it was rated as having the fourth worst quality of life anywhere in Britain.
At the bottom of the list, the Midlands and North West England are home to the five least prosperous places in Britain, according the Legatum Institute. The institute ranks the city of Wolverhampton in the Midlands as the least prosperous. Residents there have an average income of just £18,000 ($ 28,000) per year, and more importantly, are the most unhappy in the whole of the UK.
Other areas with the lowest prosperity include Sandwell — which also scored poorly in uSwitch’s quality of life index — Blackpool, Liverpool and East Derbyshire.
Speaking about Wolverhampton’s position at the bottom of the ranking, Legatum Institute Executive Director Sian Hansen said “The “Geography of Prosperity” index reveals that prosperity is about more than just wealth—it is about feeling that one’s life is worthwhile. The data shows that Wolverhampton is the least prosperous part of the UK because its citizens report the lowest levels of satisfaction with their lives in the whole country.”
The Legatum Institute will release its global Prosperity Index on Monday, so stay tuned.
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