September 29, 2011
The latest uSwitch quality of life index shows the UK has been named the worst place to live in Europe for quality of life.
Britons have 5.5 fewer days holiday a year than the European average and a lower than average government spend on education. Briton is fourth in Europe for average household income
The UK was also shown to have the second lowest hours of sunshine per year, the fourth highest retirement age, and the third lowest spend on health as a percentage of GDP.
The UK’s high cost of living was also a factor, with food and fuel prices the highest in Europe. Unleaded petrol, alcohol and cigarettes all cost more in the UK than the European average.
As a result, more than one in 10 Britons (12%) said they are “seriously considering” emigrating, with “broken society” stated as the biggest concern for 59% of those questioned, followed by the cost of living (49%), crime and violence (47%).
A mere 5% of those questioned are happy in the UK.
France came first in the chart for the third year running, despite families earning an average £6,000 less than Britons and working longer hours. However the French enjoy 2,124 hours of sunshine per year, an average retirement age of 60, and receive 36 days of holiday a year. The French also live a year longer than Brits, with an average life expectancy of 81.4 years compared to 80.4 in the UK. People in France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden can all expect to live longer than people in the UK.
Spain, Italy, the Netherlands and Germany followed France in the top five best European countries for quality of life, with Denmark, Poland, Sweden and Ireland also scoring higher than the UK.
Full story: The Guardian