This city has been named the UK's fastest-improving place to live and work in the last 12 months

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Birmingham has improved the most out of any UK city. (Source: Getty)

Birmingham has been named the fastest improving city in the UK in a new ranking which suggests cities in the north UK are catching up with the metropolitan hubs in the south of England.

While Oxford topped Demos-PwC’s ‘Good Growth for Cities’ index for 2017, which ranks the UK’s largest cities according to a group of indicators that the public regard as important for success and wellbeing, Birmingham was listed as the most improved city, with Leeds coming in second place and Leicester in third.

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Highest ranking cities

1. Oxford
2. Reading
3. Southampton
4. Edinburgh
5. Bristol
6. Milton Keynes
7. Cambridge
8. Coventry
9. Leicester
10. Swindon

The index looks at employment, health, income, skills, housing affordability and commuting times, among other factors.

Reading and Southampton came second and third in the rankings respectively.

London was fifth in the list of the top 10 most improved cities, but the list of the most improved cities was dominated by cities in the Midlands and the North of England.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at PWc, said: “The UK has been a great job-creating machine in recent years and this has driven improvement in our good growth index this year across all major UK cities.

“But there has also been a price to pay for this in terms of worsening housing affordability, increased average commuting times and more people having to work long hours.

“The cities that are highest ranked on our index also tend to suffer the highest price of success.”

Paul Terrington, PwC head of regions, said falling unemployment rates were responsible for the broad improvements seen across the UK’s cities.

“The economic recovery [from the financial crisis] is now spreading across the country rather than being focused on London and the South East,” he said.

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Most improved cities

1. Birmingham
2. Leeds
3. Leicester
4. Newcastle
5. Southampton
6. London
7. Middlesborough & Stockton
8. Wolverhampton & Walsall
9. Liverpool
10. Derby