The district of Uttlesford has been ranked the best rural place to live in the UK according to the latest Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey.
Cllr Jim Ketteridge, leader of Uttlesford District Council said: “I am very proud to be the leader of the council which represents the best rural district in Britain.
“We already know that this is a beautiful part of the country to live and we take great pride in the district. However it is particularly pleasing to have outside independent recognition of this.
“I am particularly delighted to hear that our residents have the highest standard of living in rural Britain and that over 95 per cent of them are in good health.
“It is also encouraging to learn that the district performs strongly in terms of average weekly earnings and a high employment rate however we won’t be complacent and will continue to support our local businesses and drive the local economy forward.”
Uttlesford residents are comparatively wealthy, with average weekly earnings of £819 and an employment rate of 84 per cent – well above the national average of £608 and 74.4 per cent respectively.
While 96.7 per cent of residents report to be in general good health, they can also look forward to a life expectancy of 81.8 years.
However, the average house price in the area is seven times local annual gross earnings, which is above the average rural house price to earnings ratio for all rural areas of 6.2.
Cllr Ketteridge added: “These statistics show what a desirable place Uttlesford is.
“However it is of course expensive to buy property in this area which shows just how important it is that the council continues to provide for more affordable housing in the district.”