The UK Starbucks Comfortable Living Index

[Note: this is probably very out of date now…]

In 2006 CityTownInfo published a table of US places based on the ratio of branches of Starbucks to population – suggesting a ‘comfortable living’ index of some kind and apparently correlating quite closely to lists of ‘best cities’.

So, I’ve done the same for the UK. The following table is based on all UK cities with three or more branches of Starbucks (to keep down small places skewing the results too much), and population figures from the 2001 census. The figure represents No of Starbucks per 10,000 people…

Manchester 4.82
Brighton 3.72
St Albans 3.64
Edinburgh 3.49
York 2.91
London 2.83
Oxford 2.8
Cambridge 2.64
Newcastle 2.63
Belfast 2.16
Swindon 1.93
Glasgow 1.91
Bristol 1.9
Leeds 1.8
Milton Keynes 1.63
Nottingham 1.6
Cardiff 1.37
Reading 1.29
Liverpool 1.07
Birmingham 1.03
Leicester 0.91
Sheffield 0.91

Draw your own conclusions (though I seem to recall St Albans recently topped a property prices table). If there are any surprises it’s perhaps the high placing of Manchester.

When I get a moment, I’ll maybe compare this with other indices such as property prices, disposable income and so on. For comparison with a few other places (picked at random) with fewer than 3 branches of Starbucks: Canterbury (2) – 4.59; Grimsby (1) – 1.14; Preston (2) – 1.08; Stafford (1) – 1.57.

14 of these cities are included in the data at Urbanaudit.org but their data is a bit tedious to extract.

A superficial glance suggests the table is largely inverted for branches of McDonalds…