Kirsty Anderson

Business Development Manager - Pensions

West sussex keeps top spot for best retirement quality of life

14 September 2018

  • West Sussex stays in first place, ranking as the best county to live in for retirees
  • Dorset follows West Sussex in second position, followed by East Sussex, the Isle of Wight and Norfolk
  • The county which has improved the most since 2017 was Leicestershire, jumping 14 places up to rank 32
  • Retirees in Rutland have the healthiest lifestyle and are happiest, those in the West Midlands enjoy the lowest crime rates, retirees in Bedfordshire are wealthiest and those in Essex have the best weather


West Sussex is still the best place to retire offering pensioners the highest quality of life, reveals Prudential’s 2018 Retirement Quality of Life Index1. For a second year running the county has been awarded the top spot of any in England and Wales, beating Dorset which came in second position, East Sussex in third, the Isle of Wight in fourth with Norfolk in fifth. The Isle of Wight edged Devon out of the top five for 2018, rising four places with Devon slipping to sixth.

Analysis of the latest publicly available data for England and Wales shows that West Sussex is the most attractive for pensioners based on the following key indicators of happiness and comfort:

  • Resident pensioners as a proportion of county’s population – an indicator that the county has previously been an attractive location for pensioners

  • Disability-free life expectancy – an indicator of pensioners’ ongoing health and well-being

  • Access to healthcare – an indicator of the quality of healthcare likely to be available should a pensioner fall ill

  • Crime levels – an indicator of how safe someone is likely to feel in retirement

  • The number of pensioners moving to the county – an indicator of how attractive the area is to other retired people

  • Pension income – an indicator of the health of pensioners’ finances

  • Weather – an indicator of the attractiveness of the county’s climate

  • Healthy lifestyle data – an indicator of how proactive the population is in pursuing a healthy lifestyle

  • Happiness – an indicator of how happy on a scale of zero to 10 the current population feel

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