A new study undertaken by researchers from the Geographic Data Science Lab have identified Holborn in Camden (London) as the unhealthiest place to live in Great Britain.

The finding was derived from our new index (see here for more details) found that the neighbourhood surrounding Hatton Garden and Farringdon Station had the greatest access to unhealthy opportunities such as fast food or alcohol, combined with high levels of air pollution.

All other neighbourhoods in the top ten were located within Inner London.

The healthiest place to live was ‘Great Torrington’ in North Devon. The small market town has low levels of pollution, good access to parks and green space, few retail outlets that may encourage poor health-related behaviours, and good access to health services.

Eight of the top ten places to live where located in Scotland.

The map below plots the index for Great Britain and shows distinct geographical patterns. Rural areas tend to perform poorly due to being remotely located from many health services, or in heavy farming locations which higher levels of associated pollution. There are also differences within urban areas, with areas with concentrated heavy industry or higher levels of pubs, off-licences or fast food outlets seeing them perform poorly.

The full index can be viewed for free at http://maps.cdrc.ac.uk and downloaded at http://data.cdrc.ac.uk. We hope that the tool will be used both by citizens, policy officials and researchers interested in understanding how their local neighbourhoods may shape their health.