Uswitch.com has just published a study has concluded that Britain and Ireland have the poorest qualities of life in Europe. France, for the second year running, has come out on top, closely followed by Spain.

The study considered 16 factors across ten EU countries

Examining a total of 16 factors, including net income, VAT, food/fuel costs and also taking into consideration various “lifestyle factors,” such as the amount of sunshine, holiday entitlement, working hours, retirement age and life expectancy. The study was carried out across ten major European countries.

The UK came bottom

The UK was found to have the highest prices for basic foodstuffs and fuel. Spending on health and education was well below the European average (as a % of GDP).

Overall the study concluded that people in the UK work longer hours, retire later and receive less holidays than their European counterparts. They also enjoy less sunshine and have an average life expectancy two years lower than their French counterparts.

Net household income has fallen substantially. The UK no longer enjoys the highest net household income in Europe, having been overtaken by Denmark, the Netherlands and Ireland.

In 2009, net household income in the UK was £10,000 above the European average now it is just £2,314 above.

France was top for the second year running

France has topped the list for the second year in a row, spending the most on health-care (11% of GDP), having the longest life expectancy in Europe and the earliest retirement age (joint with Poland).

French workers enjoy 36 days holiday a year (the UK just 28 days) and only lag behind Spain and Italy for sunshine.

Spanish enjoy the most holidays and sunshine

Spain enjoys the most sunshine in Europe, has a longer life expectancy than the UK (by one year) and has the most holidays in Europe – 43 days!!

While the government may spend the least on education, the Spanish enjoy the lowest alcohol prices in Europe :-)

John Kramer
Posted by John Kramer
John is the marketing and content manager for Spain-holiday.com. Having travelled extensively, John settled in a small Spanish village over fourteen years ago. Interested in anything to do with the outdoors, sports, current affairs, travel and new technologies. John loves nothing more than losing himself in the mountains for a few days.

One Response on “UK is bottom of the list for European quality of life study”

  1. Goissimo says:

    I moved from the UK to Spain, Andalucia 3 years ago, and i have to agree with the findings, the quality of life, the food, the atmosphere and the sence of community are all alive and well in spain, living in Spain reminds me of the UK maybe 20 years ago, there is still respect, and old fashioned values, crime is vertually zero (i am speaking for the area which i live – of course) and everyone is extremely friendly. i would not go back to the UK for all the money in the world. Viva Espania.

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