Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Workers in Aberdeen, Hull and Edinburgh remain the richest in the UK in 2019, while those in London, Manchester and Bristol are the poorest

UK professionals working in Aberdeen, Hull and Edinburgh are officially the richest workers in Britain in 2019. That’s according to the latest research from leading independent job board, CV-Library.

The data reveals that those living and working in London were the poorest, despite earning the second highest average salary in the UK. Comparing the same basic living costs against average salaries in 18 of the UK’s key cities, the study reveals the following:

  • Workers in Scotland have the highest disposable income, with Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow appearing in the top four; those in London, Manchester and Bristol have the lowest
  • The highest monthly salaries are in Aberdeen, London and Edinburgh, while the lowest are in Sheffield, Leicester and Liverpool
  • Hull is the cheapest city to rent in, followed by Leicester and Sheffield, while London, Brighton and Bristol are the most expensive

Richest to poorest UK workers*:


Average monthly salary

Basic monthly costs

Remaining income









































































*Average monthly salary taken from CV-Library data between 1st July and 30th October 2019. Basic monthly costs include rent (small, one-bed flat, located close to the city centre), relevant council tax, a local monthly travel card, basic utility bills and groceries.

In addition to this, the study explored the average cost of purchasing a one-bed flat in each of these UK cities and reveals the percentage of monthly income that would need to be spent on mortgage repayments is highest in London (95.6%), Brighton (47.1%) and Bristol (42.3%).

Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library comments:

“It’s clear from our findings that the North/South divide still very much remains here in the UK; particularly when it comes to pay and living costs. Companies are certainly under pressure to offer fair salaries that reflect the cost of living in their location and that’s why it’s important to factor this in when negotiating on pay with an existing or future employer. Living beyond your means can be extremely stressful so stay in tune with average costs in the town or city that you live and work in.”

The study is conducted on an annual basis and reveals some fluctuations in findings over the past 12 months:

  • Disposable income has increased the most in the following locations: Brighton (41%), Edinburgh (27%), Aberdeen (15%) and Portsmouth (9%)
  • However, it has dropped in London (down 42%), Birmingham (down 17%), Glasgow (down 13%) and Manchester (down 12%)
  • Manchester has slipped down four places since last year’s research, while Birmingham has also dropped by eleven places; conversely, Edinburgh has gone up eleven places

Biggins continues:

“We know that these are uncertain times and it’s interesting to note that pay has gone up in a lot of major cities across the UK. The key driving force behind this is the fact that businesses are struggling to hire right now and are therefore pulling out all the stops in a bid to attract more people to their roles.

“At the same time, costs are rising in other areas: from travel and living, to a pint of your favourite tipple down the pub. Knowing how to manage your money is crucial and always a good focal point to think about when starting your job search in the New Year.”