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.
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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