These Are The UK's Highest-Earning Towns & Cities

Nick Levine

If you were asked to name the UK city with the highest average salary, you'd probably pick London. After all, most major companies have their headquarters in the capital, and its historic Square Mile is home to the sky-high salaries of the commerce world.

Obviously you'd be right, but according to a new study, the average weekly salary in London isn't that much higher than average weekly salaries in several nearby towns.

Research by finance.co.uk and jobs website Adzuna – which analysed over a million of its listings to calculate average pay packets – found that the average weekly salary in London is £727.

This is comfortably above the national average of £539, but not hugely ahead of the average salaries in Reading (£655), Crawley (£633) and Milton Keynes (£619).

Two Scottish cities – Edinburgh (£598) and Aberdeen (£597) – also place very high on the list. Check out the top 20 highest-earning cities, and their average weekly salaries, below.

1. London: £727

2. Reading: £655

3. Crawley: £633

4. Milton Keynes: £619

5. Cambridge: £609

6. Slough: £606

7. Oxford: £600

8. Edinburgh: £598

9. Aberdeen: £597

10. Derby: £595

11. Aldershot: £588

12. Southampton: £579

13. Luton: £571

14. Swindon: £560

15. Bristol: £547

16. Leeds: £533

17. Coventry: £532

18. Birmingham: £527

19. Glasgow: £526

20. Gloucester: £526

At the other end of the scale, the lowest average weekly salaries are found in Southend (£413), Huddersfield (£424), Birkenhead (£428) and Wigan (£436).

But as anyone who lives or has lived in London will know, a bigger salary doesn't necessarily translate to better off. Research by finance.co.uk found that nearly 58% of Londoners aged between 25 and 34 use credit crafts or an overdraft to pay for daily essentials on a regular basis, suggesting they're really feeling the pinch as they live and work in the capital.

The only place in the UK where more people aged 25-34 borrow to pay for daily essentials is the North East, where 60% of people said they do so on a regular basis.

At the other end of the scale, less than 50% of people aged between 25 and 34 borrow to pay for daily essentials on a regular basis in the West Midlands, Northern Ireland, South West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midland and Wales.

This situation could get worse in the medium-term future, as it's been predicted this week that rents are set to rise by 15% in the next five years, chipping away at many young people's already meagre disposable incomes.

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