The Highest And Lowest Paid Cities In The UK
02 May 2018

Ever wondered how your salary stacks up when it comes to the highest and lowest paid cities in the UK? You’re in luck.

The BBC has consulted experts that have recently released information on just that, with stats that give us details on average weekly income and the cities where you get the best bang for your buck.

With the UK’s fifteen largest towns and cities in this study defined as having more than 135,000 in population and with folks earning more than the national average of £539 per week, not surprisingly, London comes up on top with an average weekly salary of £727. Though these reveals don’t take into account taxes and student loans that inevitably hack off a whack of cash, they do highlight a lot about how wages vary across industries and about the varying financial impact of our working lives.

Where are the highest salaries?

After London, the next six highest paying cities are Reading, Crawley, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Slough and Oxford with an average paid salary of £600 per week.


Last year monthly earnings on average were:

1 London – £2,925

2 Crawley – £2,778

3 Slough – £2,756

4 Reading – £2,682

5 Aberdeen – £2,674


The reason for these earnings is largely due to highly skilled workers and the benefits that come with roles within industries like oil, finance and manufacturing.


Where are the lowest?

The lowest paid towns and cities are generally in Yorkshire and North West England, with Southend landing at the bottom of the list at an average earning of £414 per week, however salaries are higher for Southenders who commute to London for work, with an increase of £144 per week.

Then comes Huddersfield (£424), Birkenhead (£428), and Wigan (£436).  Belfast and Cardiff also come under the lower paid end of the spectrum with £505 average earnings per week.

These are the monthly earnings for last year:


1 Huddersfield – £1,729

2 Southend – £1,746

3 Burnley – £1,803

4 Manfield – £1,811

5 Wigan – £1,811


Why are there such huge discrepancies in pay?

The answer is pretty straightforward: the cities with the highest paying salaries tend to be inhabited by people with the highest skills and highest paying jobs in general, such as senior management roles. Qualifications have a lot to do with the equivalent level of salary, since some of the lowest paid areas including Wigan and Burnley having the fewest number of people with degrees or desirable professional skills. Obviously places like London and cities in the south surrounding it have higher wages due to higher costs of living but also because they offer high quality jobs for the likes of lawyers, accountants and architects and therefore pay more.


Where do you live? Are you getting what you’re worth? If you’re interested in a new role in a different city, check out our vacancies or call us on 0141 212 5130 to discuss opportunities. Remember to join in the chat on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.


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