The Best City To Live On Minimum Wage

The UK national minimum wage for those over 25 has recently risen to £8.21.

This means those working in minimum wage jobs take away £16,009.50 a year for a 37.5 hour working week, but how far does this actually go after covering living expenses?

Can every UK city get by when on minimum wage or are there certain areas where it’s near impossible to even cover the cost of basic living?

We’ve looked at the average cost of living, including the cost of rent, utility bills, food shop, transport and council tax, to work out how much it costs on average to live in each city and to establish how much money is left over each year after covering essentials.

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All results are based on a year’s worth of costs unless otherwise stated.

Rank

City

AVERAGE
Rent
(per year)

AVERAGE Rent
(per month)

Essentials
Shop
(per year)

Essentials Shop
(per month)

Local
Transport
(per year)

Utility
Bills
(per year)

Internet
Contract
(per year)

Council
Tax
(per year)

Living
Cost
(per person)

Leftover
INCOME
(per person)

Methodology

We looked at each city in the UK, according to Wikipedia, although we chose to exclude some with extremely small populations which have usually only been granted city status due to having a cathedral.

1 - Firstly we looked at the average rent for each area on Zoopla to get an average cost of renting a property per year.

2 - Then, using Numbeo, we collated information for each area on yearly essential shopping cost, local transport costs, utility bills per year and internet contract cost per year.

3 - Using data from each area’s council website, we then found the cost of council tax for a Band A property for 2019 to 2020 (applying the 25% discount that single people are entitled to).

4 - To calculate the average annual living costs for single people, we simply added all of the annual costs together.

5 - For those living with someone else, we divided rent, utility bills, internet contract and council by two (as these would be split with the other person in the house) and added them together with the essentials and transports costs.

6 - Once we had both average living costs we subtracted this from the annual minimum wage salary (which we calculated as £16,009.50 based on 37.5 hours worked a week on £8.21 per hour) to show how much disposable income a person would be left with.

You can view the full research data here.