Generation Y is also known as the boomerang generation—the one with the highest number of individuals who’ve had to move back in with their parents after living alone. The number of young people living with their parents across the UK has shot up from 2.7 million to a whopping 3.4 million. The same is happening in the US, where one in five people aged between 20 and 30 currently live in the family home. So here’s the question: what’s going on?
Money, money, money
Millennials generally get a bad rap for being lazy, spoiled, or entitled simply for being born in a specific decade, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The main culprit for this boomerang effect is money—or the lack of it. Busting out of the family home and getting ready to build your own life is an exciting prospect for any young adult, but the financial side of things can be both daunting and disheartening at times.
Faced with ever-increasing property prices, the burden of student debt and high costs of living, moving out (and more importantly, staying out) can seem like a pipe dream—but it’s not. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the best places to live and work in might be out of your price range, but a recent study by Royal Mail says otherwise. Let’s take a look at which UK cities offer the best quality of life—without the price tag.
Newcastle upon Tyne
Known as an entertainment hotspot, Newcastle is overflowing with things to do, no matter what you’re in the mood for. From unbeatable (and affordable) nightlife to great art galleries, all the live music you could wish for, a thriving theatre scene, and a countless restaurants for you to explore, there’s something for everyone here.
Rent in the Toon averages out at roughly £290 per month. With even cheaper accommodation on offer in areas earmarked for regeneration, you’ll be hard-pressed to find another major city with such affordable housing options. Cost of living here sits 16% lower than London—meaning your money goes further up north.
This is the city of choice for some of the biggest names around, including Frank Recruitment Group, Greggs, Virgin Money, Ubisoft, and British Airways. These are just some of the biggest local employers, so you know you’ll always have access to a vast pool of sales and recruitment jobs in Newcastle.
Head further up north, and you’ll find yourself in regal Edinburgh. This city boasts an endless list of things to see and do—from history, art, and culture to all the festivals, nature, and nightlife you’ll ever need.
As far as capital cities go, Scotland’s first city offers an attractively low cost of living. Rent general hovers around £700 a month, with salaries averaging £578 per week—pretty good for a big city. Take your search beyond the city centre to areas such as Leith, and you’ll see rental costs go even lower.
One of England’s greenest places, Bristol has all the culture and entertainment of a bigger city coupled with the warmth and friendliness of a small town. Home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the country and original stomping ground of the notorious street artist Banksy, you’ll find yourself surrounded by with loads of galleries, museums, festivals, and street art for you to discover and take inspiration from.
Bristol boasts a great start-up community, and with larger companies operating in the city, you’ll enjoy a steady stream of job opportunities coming your way. Which?, Just Eat, Airbus, and HP are just a few of the big names—and biggest employers—to recruit locally.
Yearning for the quiet life? Cardiff might just be the city for you. This nature lover’s haven is just a half-hour drive away from the breath-taking Brecon Beacons; head a little further out, and you’ll be rewarded with the stunning Gower Peninsula.
Cardiff may be one of the more easy-going cities, but don’t be fooled: it’s packed with sights to see and things to do. From arts and culture to a vibrant theatre and dance scene, dazzling street art, rugby weekends and beyond, you’ll certainly find something to suit your individual tastes here.
Rent here is attractively cheap for both offices and housing, making Cardiff the perfect place for companies set up shop. Cost of living is an impressive 25% lower than London, so you’ll definitely get more bang for your buck across the border.
About the author
James McDonagh is Director of EMEA at Frank Recruitment Group, a leading niche technology recruiter with 16 office locations all over the world, including Newcastle, where they are currently hiring.