Student and Graduate Publishing

REVEALED: The 2018 cheapest cities for students and graduates to live

Tuesday, 15 May 2018 14:58

- A new study maps the average graduate salary one year after leaving University against the cost of living and rental prices throughout the University cities of England.
- Big names Liverpool and Lincoln are the 2nd and 3rd most affordable cities, with the winner being Stoke-on-Trent.
- The average graduate from England will earn a salary of just £18,244 one year after leaving University.

With exam season in full flow and graduation just weeks away, there is no better time to announce the cheapest cities in England to live and work in.

And it is good news for students and recent graduates of Staffordshire University; the latest figures analysed by indicate that it is the most affordable University city to live in, in the whole of England. Taking the average cost of rental accommodation and cost of living into account, Stoke-on-Trent leaves graduates with the most disposable income each month. Indeed in Stoke-on-Trent, an individual earning the average first-year graduate salary of £18,244 would have a healthy £242.27 left in savings each month. That’s over £2,900 per year in cold hard cash!

Despite being a big city in England, Liverpool comes second on the list as one of the most affordable cities to live in. With average rental costs of £503 per month and the cost of living being £721.83 per month, graduates earning £18,244 per annum will have £183.10 per month left as savings. That’s £2,197.20 per year! 

The top five most affordable University cities for graduates to live in England are:

Rank   Local Authority   Monthly Cost of Living (Single)   Rental price    Average Monthly savings

1        Stoke-on-Trent                                   £693.67        £472.00                     £242.27

2        Liverpool                                           £721.83         £503.00                     £183.10

3        Lincoln                                              £705.00         £540.00                     £162.93

4        Coventry                                           £693.67         £613.00                     £101.27

5        Sheffield                                           £705.00         £605.00                       £97.93

Honourable mentions go out to Newcastle and Nottingham who just miss out on the top five, coming in seventh and eighth place with monthly savings of £83.93 and £70.60 respectively.

It will be of no surprise that the least affordable location for first-year graduates to live is in London, specifically the borough of Kensington and Chelsea. A graduate living by themselves on a salary of £18,244 would be running a deficit of £3,391.40 per month - a total of £40,696.80 worth of debt each year. With average rental costs of £3,881 per month and the cost of living being £981.33 per month, it’s not hard to see why!

The top five most expensive areas for graduates to live (that will place you in crippling debt each month) are: 

Region        Local Authority                 Monthly cost of living (Single)   Monthly Savings      Rental price Average

LONDON     Hammersmith and Fulham                               £918.33           -£1,490.40               £1,980.00

LONDON     Camden                                                         £918.33           -£1,576.40               £2,066.00

LONDON     City of London                                                £918.33           -£1,612.40               £2,102.00

LONDON     City of Westminster                                         £918.33           -£2,363.40               £2,853.00

LONDON     Kensington And Chelsea                                  £918.33            -£3,391.40               £3,881.00