/ News / Preston, Reading, Aberdeen and Edinburgh top UK cities for 'good growth'

New index of success says bigger cities such as London lose out due to high house prices and transport congestion.

London may have been a powerhouse of growth in the last decade, but the capital is amongst the UK’s worst cities on one measure of economic success.

The 2013 “good growth index”, devised by PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) and the think tank Demos, lists Preston, Reading, Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Southampton as the best performing cities.

The report claims to give a wider measure of a city’s success than just GDP, and includes job opportunities, skills, transport and work-life balance.

Top 10 cities on Good Growth Index
1. Reading and Bracknell
2. Aberdeen
3. Edinburgh
4. Southampton
5. Cambridge
6. Oxford
7. Preston
8. Bristol
9. Belfast
10. Norwich

Big cities like London, Newcastle, Liverpool and Birmingham fared less well due to congestion, high house prices, income inequality and “other quality of life indicators”, the report said.

London has the highest income levels in the country, but slipped down the rankings especially because of long working hours and inequality. The report measured 39 cities in the UK.

“Our analysis demonstrates that there is a rising price for economic success for many of the largest UK cities,” said John Hawksworth, chief economist at PwC.

“Increased congestion, pollution, income inequality and high house prices contribute to rankings in the index below that expected based on traditional measures. Medium sized cities with better quality of life tend to score better on our index based on what the public says is important to them.”

The lowest ranking cities on the index included Middlesbrough & Stockton, Swansea Bay and London.

Taken from The Telegraph online 18 November 2013

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