CANTERBURY is the third most vibrant city in the UK – behind only Manchester and Kensington, according to a report from travel company Experian.
The company's Inner City Vibrancy study looked at 75 cities and, using data from the 2011 Census, compared them on criteria such as housing type, tenure, economic activity and the professional status of the people who live there.
The results revealed that of the 75 cities researched, Canterbury has the fifth lowest jobless rate, low levels of social renting and high levels of students and outright ownership.
The report also said student populations and youthful affluent city residents are helping to create more vibrant areas in Canterbury. Four of the top ten cities have very large student populations, with Canterbury's students making up 34 per cent of the population.
A cross-section of the Canterbury community told the Times what they thought was so great about the city.
Leader of Canterbury City Council, John Gilbey, said: "It's good news for the economy and for the future of our city that students and young professionals are making Canterbury their home."
Bob Jones, from the Canterbury City Partnership, added: "What makes Canterbury great is the amazing 2000 years of history, with all that entails.
"Roman remains, an incredible cathedral, the World Heritage Site, medieval streets, fantastic stories.
"And then we have the modern city, our universities, the college, our schools, attractions, shops, restaurants and businesses, the theatre, the art gallery, fast rail to London, the link to the Eurostar, adds up to a brilliant 21st century city."
Lorna Bedford, from the Canterbury Street Pastors, said: "I feel that Canterbury is a friendly and welcoming place. The addition of street pastors on a Saturday evening helps everyone feel welcome and safe in the city."
A spokesman for Whitefriars shopping centre said: "World class heritage sites, top cultural attractions, a cosmopolitan community, beautiful countryside, stunning coastline, compact and friendly. It's not hard to fall in love with Canterbury."
A spokesman from Canterbury Cathedral said: "Canterbury's rich history and heritage, mixed with the vitality and energy of its student population, together with a wide choice of contemporary restaurants, bars and arts venues makes for a vibrant, exciting and enlightening city."
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