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London and Derby are the most desired places to live in the UK

Written by
Anna McEntee
Home, pet and travel insurance expert
Last Updated
3 JUNE 2024
5 min read
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If you’ve ever dreamed of leaving your old life behind and starting fresh in a new city, you’re not alone. The appeal of a fresh start is something many of us feel at some point in our lives. Whether you’ve landed a new job, you’re craving better weather, or just looking for a change of pace, there are many reasons to relocate to a different city – or even country. But with so many options available, which locations are the most desirable of all?

Looking at the average monthly Google searches for terms relating to living and moving to a certain location, we’ve discovered the most desired destinations to live in across the globe as well as within the UK. We’ve also provided some top tips for those hoping to achieve their dream relocation.

The top 10 most desired cities to live in the UK

1. London

London comes at the top of the list, receiving an average of 36,880 searches per month for moving-related terms like “move to London” and “where to live London”.

As the UK’s capital, London is a hub of activity and culture. It has a rich history and plenty to offer, including many job opportunities. For anyone who loves the fast pace of city life, London is the number one place to be in the UK.

2. Derby

Derby ranks in second place with 22,950 monthly searches on average. In our previous study on the most calming locations in the UK, we found that Derby ranked among the top 10, offering great air quality, plenty of green spaces and low noise pollution – which could explain why it’s such an attractive destination for Brits to move to.

It also ranked among the top 10 best cities for couples to settle down in, as well as among the top locations in the UK for graduates. So whether you’re just leaving university or looking to buy your first home, Derby could be a great choice.

3. Stoke-on-Trent

Third is Stoke-on-Trent, which closely follows Derby with an average of 22,940 people searching for moving-related terms every month. It’s located between Manchester and Birmingham, making it a popular choice for commuters who don’t want to live in the hustle and bustle of a major city.

Looking at the quality of life score for Stoke-on-Trent the city received a score of 174.48, which is considered very high according to Numbeo – so it’s clear why it’s such a desirable place to live.

4. Birmingham

Birmingham is named the UK’s fourth-most desirable city to live in, with an average of 19,890 people searching for moving-related terms per month.

As Britain’s second-largest city after London, Birmingham has a lot to offer – including the UK’s largest city centre-based shopping centre, numerous cultural institutions, sporting arenas and a wide variety of award-winning restaurants in a range of different cuisines.

5. Liverpool

Liverpool rounds out the top five with an average of 19,470 searches per month for terms related to relocation. This vibrant city boasts a rich musical heritage, renowned football clubs, and a friendly atmosphere.

Liverpool also offers a lower cost of living compared to bigger cities like London, making it an attractive option for those seeking a dynamic city experience without the hefty price tag.

Rank City Total average monthly search volume
1 London 36,880
2 Derby 22,950
3 Stoke on Trent 22,940
4 Birmingham 19,890
5 Liverpool 19,470
6 Wolverhampton 18,830
7 Bradford 18,010
8 Manchester 17,240
9 Newport 16,510
10 Sunderland 15,290

The top 10 most desired international cities to live in

1. Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Dubai takes the crown globally as the number one place people want to live, with a whopping 44,090 monthly searches for terms like "move to Dubai" and "where to live in Dubai".

This cosmopolitan metropolis is known for its ultramodern architecture (including the world’s tallest building), buzzing nightlife, and year-round sunshine. With plentiful job opportunities and a multicultural population, it's no wonder Dubai ranks as the most desired international city for many.

2.  Las Vegas, USA

Las Vegas, sometimes nicknamed the Entertainment Capital of the World, comes in second with an impressive 30,040 average searches per month.

Located in the hot desert climate of southern Nevada, Vegas is famed around the world for its entertainment and nightlife scene and consistently ranks as one of the world's most visited tourist destinations. If you crave constant excitement and city lights, it’s certainly a great choice.

3. Chicago, USA

Another US city, Chicago, is the third most desired international destination, attracting an average of 23,190 monthly searches for moving-related terms. This dynamic city on the shores of Lake Michigan offers everything from world-class museums to a thriving culinary scene.

From its deep-dish pizzas to its energetic jazz clubs, Chicago promises a vibrant and exciting time for those seeking a taste of American city life.

4. Miami, USA

Close behind Chicago is Miami, securing the fourth spot with an average of 22,530 monthly searches.

This sun-drenched city in Florida is renowned for its idyllic beaches, energetic nightlife, and vibrant Latin American culture.

5. Los Angeles, USA

Rounding out the top five is Los Angeles in California, earning a monthly average of 21,880 searches from people eager to move there.

The coastal city is the second-most populous city in the US after New York and is famed for being home to America’s TV and film industry, attracting anyone looking for a touch of Hollywood glamour and sunshine-filled days.

Rank City Total average monthly search volume
1 Dubai 44,090
2 Las Vegas 30,040
3 Chicago 23,190
4 Miami 22,530
5 Los Angeles 21,880
6 Toronto 20,740
7 Melbourne 19,970
8 Singapore 19,400
9 Philadelphia 13,900
10 Mumbai 9,680

Top tips for relocating

If you’re thinking about relocating, whether that’s to a new city or a new country, we’ve put together some top tips to help you find the perfect place for you.

  1. Do your research: Before diving into the home hunt, research the area you'd like to live in. Consider factors like commute times, proximity to schools and amenities, and the general feel of the neighbourhood. Familiarise yourself with average home prices to avoid overspending and make sure you're getting good value for your money.
  2. Set a budget: Coming up with a budget early on will ensure the places you’re looking at are affordable foryou and remove the risk of falling in love with a location that’s slightly out of reach. It’s also a good idea to set a travel budget if you’re planning on viewing properties far away.
  3. Factor in hidden costs: Don't underestimate the impact of hidden costs when setting your relocation budget. Factor in costs like moving fees, potential repairs, and ongoing expenses like home insurance and appliance insurance.
  4. Choose the right level of insurance: Consider extending your home insurance coverage with accidental damage buildings insurance for peace of mind. This can protect your property from unforeseen events. Renters can also benefit from apartment insurance, guarding against belongings damaged by fire, theft, or accidental damage.


Using a seedlist of countries and cities, we accessed the search volume for the terms ‘move to’, ‘moving to’, ‘where to live’, ‘buy house’ and ‘rent house’ across a period of one year, April 2023 - April 2024. UK search volume was used for UK cities data, with global search volume being used for international cities. The data was extracted using Google Keyword planner.

Anna McEntee - Insurance expert

Anna’s all about delivering fantastic insurance products at a great price. Value is the most important thing for Anna, as she cuts through the jargon and finds what’s most important and worth your hard-earned money.

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