OXFORD has been named the best city in the UK to live and work.

An annual report called the Good Growth for Cities Index, which measures 'economic wellbeing', has ranked Oxford top for the fourth year in a row.

Released by Demos-PwC, the index factors in 11 indicators including employment, health, income, skills, housing affordability, commuting times and environmental factors, assessing 42 UK cities in the UK.

The report, published today, said: "Oxford, in particular, has seen a strong improvement in this year’s index, driven across a range of measures including work-life balance, transport and skills.

"Oxford’s extension of its lead at the top of this year’s index reflects continued improvement across a range of measures, including work-life balance, skills, income and transport.

"Oxford also performs strongly across jobs and health, scoring within the top five cities for both of these variables."

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Despite persistently performing well in the report's rankings, other research has consistently placed Oxford in the bottom spots, when different factors are considered.

In July, Oxford was named one of the worst cities to live on minimum wage, while last year, it was named among the worst cities for retirees to settle in.

It has repeatedly held the title as the country's least affordable city to live in, in the annual Lloyds Bank review of average house prices compared to average earnings.

Analysis on the PwC website, explaining why the top cities performed well, said: "The South East performs particularly strongly in income, health, environment, and new businesses per head.

"There is, however, a price for this success, with all cities in the region scoring below average in housing price to earnings and at or below average for work-life balance.

"The variable that saw the largest decrease in the South East compared to last year was house price to earnings, which fell in absolute terms for all cities, which demonstrates that the area is becoming increasing unaffordable."

Oxford's position was followed this year by Reading, Southampton, Bristol and Milton Keynes.

Sunderland ranked bottom, just below Doncaster and Wakefield.