Rutland is the best rural place to live

In Rutland, where locals enjoy a good climate with less rainfall than the national average, the typical resident earns £623, while four in five 16-64 year olds are in employment.

This does come at a cost however, as house prices in the area are 6.7 times the average pre-tax local income in the region, up from the national average of 6.2.

Craig McKinlay, mortgages director, Halifax, said: “Rutland has moved up 11 places to the top spot in the 2015 Halifax Rural Areas Quality of Life Survey.

“Taking a wide range of economic and social factors into account residents here can now lay claim to having the highest standard of living in rural Britain.

"In terms of personal wellbeing and general good health, Rutland residents score among the highest in Great Britain. And while house prices relative to earnings are above the rural average, Rutland still performs strongly in terms of average weekly earnings and a high employment rate."

Second place is Chiltern in Buckinghamshire, as its residents enjoy a life expectancy of 82.2 years, while average earnings stand at £941.

Of the top 50 rural places to live 14 are in the South East, while the East of England also has 10 spots.

Areas in the top 50 outside the south include South Northamptonshire (fourth), the Orkney Islands (21st), Hambleton in North Yorkshire (22nd) and Malvern Hills (25th).