Oxford top in list of the best places to live and work in the UK

Oxford top in list of the best places to live and work in the UK

We've always known Oxford was a great place to live and work here at Martin & Co. But once again it has been recognised as the top city in the UK.

The Good Growth for Cities Index (GGCI), compiled by PwC looks to measure the performance of 42 towns and cities in the UK beyond GDP alone.


So, we know Oxford is top, but how does it compare with the other 41 towns and cities in the GGCI? Here are the top 10 and their scores on the GGCI:

1. Oxford (1.03)

2. Reading (0.99)

3. Southampton (0.82)

4. Milton Keynes (0.77)

5. Bristol (0.73)

6. Edinburgh (0.72)

7. Swindon (0.71)

8. Coventry (0.7)

9. Aberdeen (0.69)

10. Leicester (0.65)


The GGCI takes into account 10 factors that the public and businesses believe is vital for economic success and wellbeing. These include (Oxford scores in brackets):

Jobs (2.21)

Health (1.92)

New Business (1.35)

Skills (2.47)

Income Distribution (0.53)

Income (2.78)

Transport (-0.66)

Work / Life Balance (-1.46)

House Price to Earnings (-2.33)



"This data from PwC is based on the past 10 years, which shows that Oxford has emerged from the economic downturn of 2008-09 better than any other city in the UK," said Bill Cooper, managing director of Martin & Co Oxford.

"Even with the uncertainty around the UK's exit from the European Union over the past two years, Oxford has shown genuine resilience and growth across jobs, health, new business and income.

"Although the city ranked highest across all factors in the GGCI, there is clearly still work to be done in some areas, though.

"We've seen small signs of a potential correction in house prices in the city over the past 12 months, but prices compared with the more significant falls we have seen in London and the South East are holding up well.

"While stamp duty changes and the confusion of Brexit has seen the top end of the market take its foot off the gas, there is still a solid amount of sales stock for those not choosing to sit on their hands.

"The appeal of Oxford is showing no signs of waning and property prices even in these uncertain times prove that it's popularity is as strong as ever."



1. Architecture

Oxford is unquestionably one of the most picture perfect cities in the UK. It's not called the 'City of Dreaming Spires' for nothing.

Packed with history, the Oxford skyline is a sight to behold. It is a city where tradition is mixed perfectly with progress.

2. The Covered Market

Everything from fresh fruit and veg to furniture is available from the famous covered market. Like the rest of Oxford, it is steeped in tradition having been built in 1774!

3. The Colleges

The inspiring halls of Oxford's 38 colleges have played host to people who changed the world. Stephen Hawking, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, Lewis Carroll and Oscar Wilde are all among the alumni of Oxford University.


4. The digital revolution

The Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge corridor is looking to become one of the UK's hottest spots for science, technology and innovation.

With that quest comes jobs, a vibrant economy and great quality of life.


5. Transport links

One of the areas Oxford scored below average on in the GGCI was transport. But that is all set to change.

Direct trains from Oxford to London Paddington already take only an hour, but the East West Rail project is looking to reconnect Oxford and Cambridge by 2030.

The planned Oxford Cambridge Expressway between the two cities is also planned to complete by 2030.


6. Green Oxford

Yes, Oxford is a technology and employment power house, but it also boasts some of the finest green spaces in any city of the UK.

Port Meadow to the north west is an idyllic retreat from the hustle and bustle, while University Parks is a glorious spot in summer.


7. Leisure

Oxford is renowned for its masses of shops, bars, pubs and restaurants. There are also several theatres and an art house cinema.

While busy and bustling, Oxford boasts a great family atmosphere once the sun goes down.

If you're looking for a home in Oxford feel free to get in touch with us at the office on 01865 812110 or oxford@martinco.com.