How Does Your Salary Compare To The Rest Of The UK?

photographed by Kieran Boswell.
Our salaries and spending habits may largely shape what our daily lives look like, but they remain shrouded in taboo and it's endlessly fascinating (sometimes infuriating) to find out how much other people earn and how they manage their money.
Regardless of our jobs, where we live has a significant impact on how much we earn, as new data from the Centre for Cities, published by the BBC, shows. The average national weekly wage is £539 before tax, but if you're looking to earn more than this it's worth moving to one of 15 of the UK's largest towns and cities with a higher-than-average weekly wage.
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Salaries in London are the highest in the UK at a weekly £727, which is unsurprising considering that the capital attracts the country's highest-paying companies and a sizeable number of highly skilled workers.
There is large variation between London boroughs, however, with workers in the City helping to bring up the average salary in the eastern borough of Tower Hamlets to £952 per week, compared with £518 in Sutton, in southwest London.
Outside London, the next six places with the highest salaries are all in the southeast of England. Average weekly wages in Reading, Crawley, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Slough and Oxford are all £600 or more.
Milton Keynes (£619), Cambridge (£609), Slough (£606) and Oxford (£600), which was just named the best place in the UK to buy a first home, also boast higher-than-average weekly wages, with Edinburgh (£598), Aberdeen (£597) and Derby (£595) not far behind.
At the other end of the scale, the lowest weekly wages in the UK can be found in Southend (£413) in Essex, a mere hour's train journey from the capital. A fifth of the town's population does, in fact, take advantage of this proximity and commute to the capital for work, as the BBC reports.
Most of the other lowest paid towns and cities are in Yorkshire and the northwest of England. After Southend, the lowest salaries can be found in Huddersfield (£424), Birkenhead (£428) and Wigan (£436).
The main reasons for the wage disparity across the UK are the number of high-paying jobs in each place and the skill levels of the town or city's population. The cost of living is also important, with companies in expensive cities like London, Cambridge and Oxford needing to entice employees with higher wages.
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Where to earn the highest weekly salaries in the UK (national average: £539 before tax)
1. London (£727)
2. Reading (£655)
3. Crawley (£633)
4. Milton Keynes (£619)
5. Cambridge (£609)
6. Slough (£606)
7. Oxford (£600)
8. Edinburgh (£598)
9. Aberdeen (£597)
10. Derby (£595)
11. Aldershot (£588)
12. Southampton (£579)
13. Luton (£571)
14. Swindon (£560)
15. Bristol (£547)
16. Leeds (£533)
17. Coventry (£532)
18. Birmingham (£527)
19. Glasgow (£526)
20. Gloucester (£526)
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