SOUTHAMPTON is one of the best places in the UK to live and work, according to new research.

The city comes sixth in a list of places in the country, ahead of locations such as London, Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol.

The findings come from the The 2015 Good Growth for Cities Index, which was put together by business consultants PwC and think-tank Demos.

It ranks the cities by measuring performance in 10 categories measuring economic performance and quality of life.

Overall, Southampton ranks well for jobs, health and skills, but poorly for work-life balance, house affordability and 'sectoral balances', which suggests the city's economy is not as well balanced through different types of industry as other places.

It is ranked as average for income, transport, owner-occupation, income distribution and environment.

It's overall performance however, is above average for UK cities, with only five performing better.

This means the authors consider Southampton to be one of the best places in the country to be able to deliver financial growth in the coming years, thanks to the overall health of the economy and the lifestyle features it offers its population.

Portsmouth is ranked 11th, with Reading and Bracknell topping the list. The worst is Wakefield and Castleford.

The report also finds that since 2011, Southampton has been the fourth most improved city in the criteria judged by the authors.

This has been put down largely to a fall in unemployment and improvements in health and skills in the city.

One of the key findings is that power should be moved away from London and decentralised so cities such as Southampton can have move say in how they develop and contribute to the economy.

You can read the full report for free on the PwC Good Growth for Cities 2015 website.

In 2010, Southampton was voted the friendliest city in the country, but earlier this year it was described as one of the least affordable places to buy a home.

Highest ranked cities:

  1. Reading & Bracknell
  2. Oxford
  3. Edinburgh
  4. Cambridge
  5. Aberdeen
  6. Southampton
  7. Bristol
  8. Belfast
  9. Leicester
  10. Coventry
  11. Portsmouth
  12. Preston
  13. Norwich
  14. Swindon
  15. Milton Keynes & Aylesbury
  16. Plymouth
  17. Cardiff
  18. Brighton
  19. Stoke-on-Trent


Worst ranked cities

  1. Wakefield & Castleford
  2. Middlesbrough & Stockton
  3. London (Boroughs Only)
  4. Sunderland
  5. Liverpool
  6. Bradford
  7. Birmingham
  8. London
  9. Swansea Bay
  10. Maidstone & North Kent
  11. Hull
  12. Southend & Brentwood
  13. Newcastle & Durham
  14. Sheffield & Rotherham
  15. Manchester
  16. Glasgow
  17. Wirral & Ellesmere Port
  18. Warrington & Wigan
  19. Nottingham