Major disparities across a range of areas including education, employment, and even life expectancy have been revealed in new research centred on Northern Ireland’s 11 local councils.
The Mid Ulster Council area has been ranked 6th overall in terms of quality of life by an investigation carried out by investigative website, the Detail.
The key findings include the fact that Mid Ulster Council has inherited the lowest level of debt per head of population, £241.11, but has the second highest proportion of empty properties, with 4.49% of the local housing stock currently standing derelict.
In financial terms, Mid Ulster Council also has the lowest amount of assets per head of population, valued at £805, which implies an underinvestment in facilities such as arts centres, parks, leisure centres and play parks.
Although Mid Ulster’s low levels of unemployment seem impressive, its median earnings are the second lowest of the 11 council areas, suggesting that the majority of its inhabitants rely on low paid work.
Mid Ulster’s schools come sixth in terms of educational attainment, with 65.8% of Year 12 pupils achieving 5+ GCSEs (A*to C) including English and maths.
The average across the 11 districts is 64.3%.
Men in the new district have a life expectancy of 77.99 years – the fifth highest of the 11 councils.
Their female counterparts have a life expectancy of 82.37 years – the sixth highest in Northern Ireland.
Topping the quality of life table was Lisburn & Castlereagh Council, while at the bottom was Derry & Strabane Council, which scored poorly on virtually every measure.