September 22nd, 2010
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