West Sussex offers the best quality of life for retired people, according to a study covering England and Wales.

Places in southern and eastern England dominated the top 10 list, with Dorset, East Sussex, Devon, Norfolk and Suffolk also identified as hotspots by Prudential.

Prudential looked at a range of data including disability-free life expectancy, access to healthcare, crime levels, pensioner populations, healthy lifestyles and the weather to make the findings. It used figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and the Met Office.

Pensioners enjoy the warm weather on the beach in Brighton, East Sussex
Pensioners enjoy the warm weather on the beach in Brighton, East Sussex (Gareth Fuller/PA)

While nowhere in Wales made the top 10, Prudential said pensioners there do have reasons to be cheerful, for instance Gwynedd has a particularly high proportion of healthcare workers compared with the population size and Dyfed-Powys has notably low crime rates.

With Fishbourne Roman Palace and Arundel Castle within its boundaries, West Sussex attracts particularly high numbers of pensioners and also enjoys strong rankings for good weather and disability-free life expectancy.

Dorset, home to much of the Jurassic Coast and the backdrop for TV crime drama Broadchurch, also remains a popular destination for pensioners and has particularly good weather, Prudential said.

An aerial view of cliffs on the Jurassic Coast near West Bay, Dorset, where ITV's Broadchurch is filmed
An aerial view of cliffs on the Jurassic Coast near West Bay, Dorset, where ITV’s Broadchurch is filmed (Steve Parsons/PA)

Surrey has the highest average pension income at £21,400 – nearly a third higher than the average in England and Wales.

Stan Russell, a retirement income expert at Prudential, said: “There are now 10.6 million people aged 65 or over in England and Wales, a million more than five years ago, and accounting for nearly one in five of the total population. So deciding on the right place to retire to is a challenge faced by a huge number of people each year.

“Our analysis shows that every part of the country has something different to offer pensioners, but the counties with the most attractive attributes tend to be along the southern and eastern coasts of England. Counties like West Sussex and Dorset may be attractive because of their low crime rates or the quality of their health care. However finding the right spot to live in such popular locations can be tricky.”

Here are the overall quality of life in retirement rankings, according to Prudential:

1. West Sussex.
Arundel Castle in West Sussex (Chris Ison/PA)
Arundel Castle in West Sussex (Chris Ison/PA)

2. Dorset.

A view of Durdle Door in Dorset
A view of Durdle Door in Dorset (John Walton/PA)

3. East Sussex.
The coastline in Hastings, East Sussex (Tom Pugh/PA)
The coastline in Hastings, East Sussex (Tom Pugh/PA)

4. Devon.

Cream then jam on scones in Devon
Cream then jam on scones in Devon (Ben Birchall/PA)

5. Norfolk.

The Norfolk Broads
The Norfolk Broads (Adam Davy/Empics)

=6. Oxfordshire.

(L-R) The Radcliffe Camera, the Codrington library, Hertford College (Old Quadrangle) and All Souls' College, Oxford. The roof and tower of New College can be seen right, distance
The Radcliffe Camera, the Codrington library, Hertford College (Old Quadrangle) and All Souls’ College, Oxford (William Conran/PA)

=6.Worcestershire.
People take an early morning walk along the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire
People take an early morning walk along the Malvern Hills in Worcestershire (Joe Giddens/PA)

8. Isle of Wight.

Sailing boats make their way around the Isle of Wight close to the Needles
Sailing boats make their way around the Isle of Wight close to the Needles (Andrew Matthews/PA)

=9. Suffolk.

The sea front at Southwold, Suffolk
The seafront at Southwold, Suffolk (Chris Radburn/PA)

=9. North Yorkshire.

A steam train makes its way past the flowering purple heather at Fen Bog Nature Reserve on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)
A steam train makes its way past the flowering purple heather at Fen Bog Nature Reserve on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (Anna Gowthorpe/PA)