Where to live if you're young: Local areas ranked for under-26s

Illustration of the measures we used

Melton in Leicestershire is at the bottom of a list of places to live if you're under 26, BBC analysis suggests.

Variables considered include access to mental health care, average rent prices and levels of unemployment.

The list ranks 378 local authorities in England, Wales and Scotland from highest to lowest. Comparative data for Northern Ireland wasn't available.

Islington in London came top of the rankings, which are part of Radio 1 Newsbeat's Know Your Place project.

The best places to live for young people are Bristol, Oxford and Glasgow.

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Click here if you cannot see the interactive map. Contains OS data © Crown copyright and database rights 2018.

Know Your Place lets you check how your local area performs in 11 different categories.

The data, which was selected by BBC News, also looks at the number of bars, pubs, clubs and music events in each local authority, as well as access to sports facilities and 4G.

The project also carried out a poll of more than 1,000 young people to help ensure that the measures used are important to them.

  • If you want to know more about where the data comes from and how your area was ranked, click here.

A second interactive tool lets you choose which categories are more important to you and shows three areas which perform well in those categories.

Image copyright Tom Pitcher
Image caption Newsbeat asked A-level photography students from The Sir John Colfox Academy in West Dorset to take photos of their local area. Photographer Tom Pitcher said: "I love the stunning scenery and beach parties".

Ellie Hadley has lived in Melton for most of her life.

"When I was younger I didn't really like it because there wasn't all that much but now I'm older, if you want to go for a coffee or go for lunch then it's fine," she says.

"I think the town's pretty, there's loads of parks. I would like to see more cocktail bars and nice places to eat that do different kinds of food. We've got about ten Italian places."

The 22-year-old says she would also like to see more child-friendly groups and play areas for her four-month-old daughter.

Image caption Ellie Hadley lives in Melton with her four-month-old daughter

The proportion of 16-25-year-olds in each area has also been looked at.

West Dorset - an area which includes Bridport, Dorchester and Lyme Regis and has an estimated population of 100,000 - has the lowest proportion of under-26s in any local authority.

Oxford has the highest number of young people as a proportion of its population.

You can also look at which areas perform well in the categories you're interested in.

Giving each category a star rating will show the top three areas suitable for you based on your preferences.

This interactive content requires an internet connection and a modern browser, but here are some facts to tide you over:

  • The best place for going out is Westminster, which scores 10/10
  • The youngest place is Oxford, where 26% of people are aged 18-24
  • Blaenau Gwent, in Wales, has the cheapest rent per bedroom, at £170
  • Hammersmith and Fulham, in London, is the best place for buses
  • Highland, in Scotland, has the most natural beauty

Click here if you cannot see the preference calculator.

Esme Wardle, who's a home carer from Bridport tells Newsbeat: "There are carer jobs because so many people come to retire here.

"West Dorset is quite boring. It's nice that I know everyone but if I want to go for a proper night out as an 18-year-old, I have to travel for more than an hour to actually be able to stay up past 1am.

Image copyright Kayleigh Loader
Image caption "You have to travel a long way to go out, and even then there's not many options" - Kayleigh Loader, A-level photography student

"I've seen a few documentaries on stuff where it shows people living in cities and they meet up with their friends and they can just go out," Esme adds.

"When I was growing up, if I wanted to meet up with one of my friends then our parents had to drive us to each other's houses, then we'd have to wait there and be picked up because there's no way you could walk it."

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Media captionBristol in ‘top 5’ places: Why I love it

While rent prices are relatively high in the City of Bristol, it has the highest rate of inward youth migration in Britain - meaning it has the most young people moving there compared to leaving.

"Every corner that you go to has history about it, has some sort of culture about it, and has something unique," 25-year-old photographer and youth worker Sham Ahmed told Newsbeat.

A proud Bristolian born and bred, he added: "It's just so mixed when it comes to culture."

Image copyright Shamil Ahmed
Image caption Wapping Wharf is one of Sham's favourite places to photograph in Bristol

UK Youth, a charity which supports young people, told Newsbeat: "UK Youth strongly believes that young people should be empowered to build bright futures, regardless of their background or circumstances and we are committed to providing access to appropriate, high quality services in every community."

Reporting by Daniel Rosney and Imran Rahman-Jones. Data research and analysis by Maryam Ahmed, Will Dahlgreen and Ransome Mpini. Development by Scott Jarvis and Becky Rush. Design by Irene de la Torre Arenas.

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