30 March 2015 | Online since 2003



3 July 2012|News

Countryside inflation nearly twice national average


The cost of living in countryside areas has been rising nearly twice as fast as in urban areas over the past year.

The findings come from the Countryside Living Index, a new quarterly survey, which is launched today by rural insurer NFU Mutual. The study tracks quality of life in the countryside and includes a unique new econometric measure of rural prices.

The analysis – studying a ‘basket’ of the 21 items consumed more regularly by those living in the countryside – revealed that year-on-year ‘rural inflation’ levels averaged 7.7 per cent over 12 months – compared to the national average (CPI) of 4.3 per cent for the same period.



The figure was driven by soaring fuel prices over the last 12 months – which adversely affect those living in the countryside who are heavily dependent on personal transport. Not only are fuel prices higher but the typical rural resident has further to travel in their regular day.

Annual inflation of 13-15 per cent in electricity prices during the winter were also responsible for sustaining the rural inflation hike, along with increases in the cost of items such as pet food and tools. The comparatively high cost of heating oil, which is typically used by country people as a substitute for gas, also added to the problem of above average inflation.


And faster-rising costs for key rural goods have only exacerbated the steeper prices already faced by rural consumers, with the report identifying an estimated 5-10 per cent estimated ‘rural premium’ paid on everyday goods, with meat, tea and coffee seeing the biggest difference in price compared to urban areas.

As a result, using the data from the ‘countryside basket’, the average country-dweller now faces an additional £2,000 annual outlay on essential goods – £5,992 compared to the UK average of £3,986 (see table).

Often lacking easy access to public transport, countryside residents typically have to travel at least twice as far to reach their nearest shops and amenities as urban dwellers (5.3 miles vs 2.6 miles) according to estimated figures in the NFU Mutual survey of rural dwellers. At the same time inferior broadband speeds and reception can limit the practicality of internet shopping options which are enjoyed by others.

However, despite rising prices, rural living beat city-dwelling life satisfaction scores in most other areas, with rural-dwellers enjoying particularly higher levels of satisfaction with their health and local environment.

As a result countryside residents are happier overall and less stressed than their urban counterparts.

The Countryside Living Index will be published quarterly, with special reports on cost of living, crime, education, local economy, health and the environment in rural areas released throughout 2012.

Richard Percy, Chairman of NFU Mutual commented: “Our findings show that, on the whole, people living in the countryside have a better quality of life than their urban counterparts, but that costs associated with this are becoming increasingly difficult to bear for families on lower incomes.

“While there are clearly lots of people who pay this ‘countryside premium’ willingly, and can well afford to do so, we can not lose sight of the fact that there are also many others in rural areas who don’t enjoy the luxury of being able to move to cheaper areas and are struggling to make ends meet.”


Download



Comments


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


16 March 2015
Agricultural Worker
AGRICULTURAL WORKER We are looking for an honest, hardworking experienced Forklift Driver/GFW with a good knowledge of agricu...

12 March 2015
Sales & Marketing Administrator – Family-Owned Business
Now the UK’s largest independent cheese making business, our client supplies an award-winning range of dairy products to a gl...

13 March 2015
Agricultural Law Solicitor
Agriculture Law is a very niche area of the Legal Profession, and such work is undertaken by just a few firms....

9 March 2015
Diary Manager
Dairy Management Experience. This assignment is a brilliant opportunity if you have strong dairy management skills....

12 March 2015
Delicatessen Assistant
We are looking for a Delicatessen Assistant with a passion for food and great customer service work in our busy store. The ro...




Top stories you may have missed
23 March 2015 | Cattle

UK butchers face difficulties to recruit...

Butchers in the UK are losing a generation through lack of training opportu...


20 March 2015 | Arable

Dust - the secret fertiliser?

NASA research has revealed how dust blown from the Sahara desert helps supp...


19 March 2015 | Arable

The Budget 2015: A Farmer's Budget?

“In the run up to the Budget 2015 most commentators were predicting that th...


17 March 2015 | News

UK's first floating solar power system l...

The UK’s first fully operational floating solar panel system has been unvei...


13 March 2015 | Animal Health

Labour and Conservatives clash over badg...

Axing the badger cull in England and Wales will save more than £120 million...


12 March 2015 | News

Solar could be cheapest energy source by...

By 2025, solar power could become one of the cheapest forms of energy in ma...


11 March 2015 | Finance

English buyers turn their attention to S...

Demand for Scottish farm land remains strong and continues to be better val...


9 March 2015 | Cattle

2020 vision for the Welsh red meat indus...

The Welsh red meat industry should aim to increase sales by at least 34 per...


6 March 2015 | News

MP raises egg industry concerns on trans...

Fears about the impact that a proposed transatlantic trade agreement could ...


Stay safe and legal when flying drones

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Unmanned Aircraft Systems - or dron...