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The 8 worst UK cities and towns to live in

Updated February 21, 2017

A recent survey asked 25,000 people in the UK about their views of the town or city in which they lived. As a representation of the worst and best places in which to live, a happiness index to attach to each town. Individual areas of London came out as the worst places for people to live, based on the happiness of the inhabitants, although Oldham in the greater Manchester area managed to make it in at number six.

East London

East London, home of the famed cockney accent and the working class East End, tops the poll for 2011 for worst place in the UK to live, as judged by the people living there. East London also has the misfortune to be surrounded on all sides by other areas of London that are almost as bad in the eyes of the locals, and is the most unsafe place in the UK.

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Ilford

Located on the eastern side of Greater London, Ilford inhabitants are quite disgruntled because their town does not attract much investment or upgrades of the existing infrastructure. Locals also say that their neighbours are the least friendly and helpful of all the towns in the survey.

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South East London

South east London residents do not express a particular bugbear with their area, but rather earn their place in the top three with a general dissatisfaction across the board with their area.

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Luton

Diminishing the sense of happiness with their neighbourhood is the perceived high cost of living for Luton residents. Coupled with the general irritation of London residents at the lack of available living space, this gives Luton a ranking of fourth worst place to live in the UK.

Related: The cheapest places to live in the UK

Romford

Romford is another area ranked badly in the Greater London area, and is located at the eastern edge, bordered by the second-worst town, Ilford. Residents do not identify one particular issue that makes their town an unsatisfactory place to live, but instead gain a place on the list due to unhappiness with many issues.

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Oldham

Unluckily for those living in Oldham in Manchester, their town is the only non-London town to make it into the top eight worst places to live in the UK. According to the poll, this stems from inhabitants being dissatisfied with the amount of things to do in the area. In addition, those living in Oldham are not too impressed with the community spirit and safety of their neighbourhood.

Related: The 10 best UK cities and towns to live in

Enfield

The disillusionment with the town that locals have with Enfield may be strongly influenced by the London riots of 2011, which began in Tottenham in North London and spread to Enfield and other locations. However, despite the destruction of the riots, Enfield is not rated the most unsafe place, as that dubious honour goes to East London instead.

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North London

People living in North London are the most stressed for living space, according to the survey. Despite this, the locals slide down the list of worst towns due to their assurance that their house prices will remain stable over time and not drop in price when the time comes to sell up and move on.

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About the Author

Jillian O'Keeffe has been a freelance writer since 2009. Her work appears in regional Irish newspapers including "The Connacht Tribune" and the "Sentinel." O'Keeffe has a Master of Arts in journalism from the National University of Ireland, Galway and a Bachelor of Science in microbiology from University College Cork.