A study conducted by the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC) revealed country dwellers must earn around £4,600 more annually than those living in urban areas in order to sustain an acceptable standard of living.
The results have been blamed on those in remote areas needing to spend extra on fuel and transport as well as urban dwellers benefiting from cheaper and more accessible utilities.
Executive director for the CRC, Nicola Lloyd said: “Although it is now widely recognised that one in five rural households experience poverty, this is the first time we’ve also had reliable data to show the minimum cost of living in the countryside is higher than in the city.”
Figures from the study also revealed that in order to afford a minimum standard of living, someone living in a rural village would need to earn at least 50% above the minimum wage, just to make ends meet.
Ms Lloyd added: “The rural minimum income standard clearly shows that many ordinary families living in rural areas will struggle to afford the everyday essentials; for some this will make rural life unsustainable.
“The CRC’s recent work on fuel poverty and promoting greater energy efficiency offers ways for government and others to help reduce these costs.”