Rural residents 'saving more money'


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Rural savers typically have around £1,500 more squirrelled away than their urban counterparts, a report has found.

People living in the countryside have £10,357 put aside for a rainy day on average, which is £1,537 more than people living in towns and cities who typically have £8,820 in their nest egg, according to Halifax's "savings barometer" of England and Wales.

The biggest gap between urban and rural savers was found in the West Midlands, where the balances of those living in the countryside were typically 31% or £2,431 higher than those in towns and cities.

Across the findings, rural savers typically have 44% of their gross annual earnings put away, compared with 34% for urban savers.

Halifax, which used balances of its own customer accounts for the basis of its survey, said the highest average savings balances were found in Mole Valley in Surrey, at £14,941 typically, followed by South Buckinghamshire, where balances are £14,536 typically.

The smallest average balances were found in the London boroughs of Newham and Hackney, at £5,173 and £5,241 respectively.

Richard Fearon, head of Halifax Savings, said: "It can be tough to save, particularly when there are so many calls on our money, and while we'd encourage savings to be made in urban areas, it's important to be realistic."

He said that several of the areas with low savings balances "are among the most deprived areas in England and Wales, which inevitably impacts on the amount that people can save".

Here are the average savings balances by region, with the typical rural balance in that region followed by the average urban balance and the percentage difference:
  • North, £8,611, £7,823, 10%
  • North West, £10,247, £7,982, 28%
  • Yorkshire and the Humber, £10,060, £8,232, 22%
  • West Midlands, £10,240, £7,809, 31%
  • East Midlands, £9,997, £8,341, 20%
  • East Anglia, £10,826, £9,147, 18%
  • South East, £10,828, £9,513, 14%
  • South West, £9,573, £8,544, 12%
  • Wales, £9,283, £7,885, 18%
  • England and Wales, £10,357, £8,820, 17%