Living Standards

Simon Abbott

Describe and comment on the criteria which can be used to measure variations in living standards, within a city. What can be done to improve the quality of life in the poorer areas?

Towns and cities all over Britain have a wide range of variations in the living standards and quality of life. These variations can be put down to many factors and issues about the residents and location. Every town is individual and unique, however a pattern in the contrast of living conditions can be seen. For many cases as the distance from the city centre is increased then the quality of living standards also increases. This variation in the living conditions can be put down to the residents in the area. Looking at the economical, social, and environmental criteria, it is clear to see why people are living in the conditions that they do.

Looking at the economical aspects of residents in an area can tell us about things like their profession. Very often criteria will include looking at the unemployment levels in an area. This would basically involve collecting the unemployment figures. I think this is a very good way to measure the living standards to an area, as it shows the percentage of people who are out of work and claiming benefits. The higher the percentage means that many residents are bringing little money into the home, and therefore have enough to just live off. Therefore they cannot afford many luxuries and comforts, and also these people may be content to be unemployed. This shows that they do not have a very high living standard, as they are not committed to finding a job, and therefore are content the way they are. Many other statistics can be put into this category of money, and how much is brought into the home. The annual earnings, number of doctors per one thousand people, and percentage of people who work in professional jobs or managerial jobs are all I think good indicators to the living conditions of an area. Basically the more money people bring into the home shows their attitude to life, they want to do well and succeed. It is these types of people who have the higher living standards because of the jobs they do and the money that they earn. Many people who are unemployed do not care that they are, and are happy with the conditions they live in which are to a lower standard because of their attitude towards life.

Criteria that can be studied to look at the social criteria of living improvements include things like crime rates and car ownership. Crime rates are a very good indicator towards measuring the living standards. With higher crime rates in an area shows that the quality of lining is reduced because of the people who are there do not abide with the law. Car ownership is also a good indicator, the more cars per family shows that more money is brought into the home and therefore they probably live in an area with a better quality of life. Statistics that show single parents, as criteria cannot be taken for much, as there may be many more reasons than the other parent does not want to help with the upbringing. In many cases, there could be a death in the family to one of the parents, or it is just not practical to live together because of the careers the parents are involved in. Within the actual household criteria like the number of people in the house and private amenities can be looked at, along with whether the house is council or privately owned. The number of people that live within a house on its own cannot be valid criteria. The number can vary because of many factors, but will mostly depend on the size of the house. If the value of the house were to be taken with the people living within recorded, then the data would be valuable. It would show that if these larger families had a large valuable house, they would have a better living standard. However, with a large family living in a small house with a low value would obviously mean a lower living standard. Private amenities are very good indicators towards the living standard. Homes with many private amenities show they do not have to share things like bathrooms,