The higher cost of rural living
A new research report, jointly published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Commission for Rural Communities, has highlighted the higher living costs faced by rural households.
The report, “A minimum income standard for rural households”, found that people living in the countryside have higher costs and therefore need a higher minimum income.
This is despite there being generally little difference between the needs of rural and urban households.
The additional costs associated with rural living are attributed to having to use a car and the use of more expensive domestic fuel by rural households.
Within the report, an acceptable minimum income required for living in a remote village in the countryside is calculated as £18,600 a year. This compares with a minimum income of £14,400 a year for someone living in an urban setting.
What this means in practice is that someone living in a rural community would need to earn around 50% more than the minimum wage to afford an acceptable lifestyle.
Whilst many people have no choice about the area in which they need to live, those with a choice between living in a rural or urban community might consider these findings carefully.
Having to spend more of your income on essential costs, such as transport or energy, leaves less available to meet your other financial goals and objectives.
There is of course a lifestyle decision to make in addition to the financial arguments, with a rural lifestyle likely to be more peaceful than living in a town or city. Cost is only one contributory factor to a decision about where it is best to live.