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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A Uswitch study has identified the UK and Ireland as the worst places in Europe to live, lying bottom of the European quality of life league table, despite a higher net income level than other European countries.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “There is more to good living than money and this report shows why so many Brits are giving up on the UK and heading to France and Spain. We earn substantially more than our European neighbours, but this level of income is needed just to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table and our homes warm. It’s giving us a decent standard of living, but it’s not helping us achieve the quality of life that people in other countries enjoy.

“For too long the focus in the UK has been on standard of living rather than quality of life. As a result we have lost all sense of balance between wealth and well-being. The recession could prove to be a turning point, forcing us to re-evaluate our way of life, get back to basics and to the things that really count. Consumers are already beginning to do this – the Government and its policymakers would do well to follow suit.”
It's an interesting and recent study, and many Brits who have left the 'green and sceptred' isle will known exactly what it is talking about. Well worth a read...
 

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Interesting article.

The UK has 2.1 doctors per 1,000 people and 3.9 hospital beds. In contrast, France has 3.4 doctors and 7.3 beds. Poland, which spends less than the UK on health, has more hospital beds – 5.2 beds per 1,000 people. While Ireland spends less than the UK, but achieves a greater number of doctors per 1,000 and a higher number of hospital beds (2.9 doctors per 1,000 and 5.6 beds)[10].
I'd be curious to know how many admin people the respective health services have per 1,000 people!

From another perspective, there are differences which could swing things back in favour of the UK. For instance, my sister lives and works in Germany; married a long time ago to a German, she had to become a German citizen to work as a teacher. Not only that, but despite a good degree from St Andrews, she had to requalify in Germany before being allowed to teach there. Now, approaching retirement, it would appear that there is a shortage of teachers in her area and, despite longing to work part-time, she can't do this without severe penalties to her pension, nor are there any options to take early retirement. She will have to work till at least age 64 - which is currently more than in the UK.

It seems as if the German education system trains people for a job; if she had wanted to change careers mid-stream, she would have had to take another full-time degree; the education she received at Erlangen University only qualifies her to be a teacher. I amn't sure if other European countries work like this, but I know things are different in the UK. Mary argues that the German system makes for a well qualified work force; I countered with the thought that it doesn't make for a very flexible work force - and heaven help you if boredom set in and you want to change and do something else!

The moral of the story - don't forget to look more deeply at the implications of moving country; there are many benefits but also some potential traps.

M

ps - after all that, Mary appears to have a good qualty of life :)
 

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Thanks for posting this since it's something that can be difficult to get across to some expats. When they look at moving to Australia they can look at the salaries and think it's too low but the quality of life can be sooo much better here.

We left the UK in July 2007 and things really don't sound too good there (according to our friends still there).

Regards,
Karen
 

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A Uswitch study has identified the UK and Ireland as the worst places in Europe to live, lying bottom of the European quality of life league table, despite a higher net income level than other European countries.



It's an interesting and recent study, and many Brits who have left the 'green and sceptred' isle will known exactly what it is talking about. Well worth a read...
Yeah, sure.

Give me a ring when you get towns as exciting as London in rural France :p
 

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Thanks for posting this since it's something that can be difficult to get across to some expats. When they look at moving to Australia they can look at the salaries and think it's too low but the quality of life can be sooo much better here.

We left the UK in July 2007 and things really don't sound too good there (according to our friends still there).

Regards,
Karen
If Australia is so good, why are there so many Aussies here in the UK?

General answer I am given: Australia is a boring place to live, specially if you don't like the outdoors, and you feel isolated from the rest of the world (so you live in Sydney, there are 2 or 3 big towns in close proximity, and, er, that is it, the next interesting places are hundreds of km away, expats going to Australia don't consider this which is a real culture shock).
 

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If Australia is so good, why are there so many Aussies here in the UK?

General answer I am given: Australia is a boring place to live, specially if you don't like the outdoors, and you feel isolated from the rest of the world (so you live in Sydney, there are 2 or 3 big towns in close proximity, and, er, that is it, the next interesting places are hundreds of km away, expats going to Australia don't consider this which is a real culture shock).
Australia is a BIG place and what you are being told (and repeating) are wild generalisations.

A lot of Aussies go to the UK to make money and then return to Australia for the lifestyle.

The great thing is to find a place where you are happy and can create the lifestyle that you enjoy - that wasn't the UK for me.

Regards,
Karen
 

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Give me a ring when you get towns as exciting as London in rural France :p
I went to London a few times when I lived in England and I personally thought it was horrendous, dirty, noisy, impersonal and scary - but thats just me! I have relatives who live and work there and love it, altho their long term plans are to get out when they have families and want to settle down!

I guess it depends on which part you go to, its a big city with many diverse areas. I've never liked big towns

Jo xxx
 

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I think the most important thing to take from this discussion is that quality of life is HARD to measure, no matter how much these sorts of studies like to assign it a number as if it's straightforward. Some people are not going to agree with the definition used in this study. My money might go farther in Australia, but I prefer the history and old architecture in Scotland. Many think the weather is better in Australia, but for someone like me (who loves spring and autumn and hides from summer because I burn to a crisp in 15 minutes - even in the UK sun )Australia would mean a choice between aluminum poisoning and melanoma!

I'm not sure how valuable these sorts of posts are. Expats can be warned about the potential drawbacks of any place, but in the end, if it is a drawback or a bonus can only be determined by them. Very few cultural aspects are objectively bad or good.

Reading studies is fine when deciding if you really want to move to the UK, but be sure you know the criteria they are using to rank countries. If you want a country with a lot of history and you are not up to learning a new language (I am appalling with languages, Glaswegian is plenty of challenge for me, thanks) then the UK may be a place with which you can fall in love. I have, it's been just over a year, and I have not for a moment regretted my move.

Best wishes,
Elizabeth
 

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Many think the weather is better in Australia, but for someone like me (who loves spring and autumn and hides from summer because I burn to a crisp in 15 minutes - even in the UK sun )Australia would mean a choice between aluminum poisoning and melanoma!

Best wishes,
Elizabeth
Just to point out that not all areas in Australia are hot - it's a common misconception :) In the South you do get the seasons but with a warmer summer, and Tasmania has very similar weather to the UK.

Glad to hear that you are happy in Scotland - it's a beautiful place.

Regards,
Karen
 

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I went to London a few times when I lived in England and I personally thought it was horrendous, dirty, noisy, impersonal and scary - but thats just me! I have relatives who live and work there and love it, altho their long term plans are to get out when they have families and want to settle down!

I guess it depends on which part you go to, its a big city with many diverse areas. I've never liked big towns

Jo xxx
Have you been to Jakarta? Ho Chi Minh City? Bangkok? Even Mexico City?

If you want to know what horrendous, noisy, impersonal and scary is I humbly suggest you are looking at the wrong place.
 

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Besides all the rating factors used in those surveys, an individual's perception of any place is going to depend on their own personal circumstances. Being someplace where you have a good job, a nice place to live and are surrounded by friends and loved ones goes a long way to overcoming "hygiene factors" like how bad the traffic is, the state of the local government and other things they tend to rank in those surveys.

If you hang out for any length of time right here on this forum, you can't help but notice that we seem to have just as many folks desperate to get into the same countries others are trying to get out of. And usually it comes down to personal circumstances more than any "objective" factor - to join the love of their lives, escape bad memories, try to make a new start, etc. etc.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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If you hang out for any length of time right here on this forum, you can't help but notice that we seem to have just as many folks desperate to get into the same countries others are trying to get out of. And usually it comes down to personal circumstances more than any "objective" factor - to join the love of their lives, escape bad memories, try to make a new start, etc. etc.
Cheers,
Bev
Excellent point Bev, I often think its a shame people cant do some sort of swap!!!!

I usually avoid going into the Britain forum. I live in Spain because I hated Britain (reasons too numerous to go into) and therefore I'm not sure I would be unbiased enough to pass comment, unless its about "factual" things!

Jo xxx
 

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A Uswitch study has identified the UK and Ireland as the worst places in Europe to live, lying bottom of the European quality of life league table, despite a higher net income level than other European countries.



It's an interesting and recent study, and many Brits who have left the 'green and sceptred' isle will known exactly what it is talking about. Well worth a read...
I read with great interest the commentary on the Uswitch Study. If I hadn't read the top of the report, I would have sworn the comments were about life in the USA. Perhaps for all of us, the bottom line is to make a life we are comfortable with in whatever country we choose to live. As for my husband and myself, we are heading back to Wales from the US. Can't put up with another round of politicians bashing each other, screaming meemies on the TV bashing each other, ads for drugs on the TV, Ads on the TV period. Give me some rolling hills, sheep and cows in the distance, greenmarkets that don't triple their prices just because they can , and a peaceful lifestyle surrounded by nature's best.
Expats in the making
 

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Besides all the rating factors used in those surveys, an individual's perception of any place is going to depend on their own personal circumstances. Being someplace where you have a good job, a nice place to live and are surrounded by friends and loved ones goes a long way to overcoming "hygiene factors" like how bad the traffic is, the state of the local government and other things they tend to rank in those surveys.

If you hang out for any length of time right here on this forum, you can't help but notice that we seem to have just as many folks desperate to get into the same countries others are trying to get out of. And usually it comes down to personal circumstances more than any "objective" factor - to join the love of their lives, escape bad memories, try to make a new start, etc. etc.
Cheers,
Bev
Hi Bev,
Your reply is right on the money. I read it after submitting mine, and see that we are of the same mind. Now, if I can just get my puppies their Pet Passport I'll be smiling all the way from Florida to South Wales, with a sidetrip to France in September of 2010!
Jann
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great Britain is Great stop knocking it!

Have you been to Jakarta? Ho Chi Minh City? Bangkok? Even Mexico City?

If you want to know what horrendous, noisy, impersonal and scary is I humbly suggest you are looking at the wrong place.
The Daily Fail newspaper doesn't help. Statistics can be manipulated to suit certain arguments.

I for one, love Great Britain, we have lived in Canada for 5 years and ready to return to our home in the Lake District in Cumbria, England.

We have holidayed in many countries and there is nowhere as quaint and beautiful as the UK. The history, culture, scenery, walks, milder weather.

We thought that Canada would be great for outdoors people like us. It's too hot in the summer, so we're indoors with air conditioning and so cold in winter that we're inside with heat on.

I have read many comments on the Australia forum saying that it's too hot in the summer to go outside, the sand burns your feet and the insects are horrendous.

We're headed back next week and can't wait to sleep without a fly screen on an open window or the noise of the huge noisy trucks in Canada, never mind the snow ploughs during the winter days and nights.

Please do not let the minority spoil it for the majority.
We never knocked Britain, we just wanted adventure, but our homesickness has overwhelmed us the past 2 years.

Grass isn't greener.
 

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I have read many comments on the Australia forum saying that it's too hot in the summer to go outside, the sand burns your feet and the insects are horrendous.
In fairness that depends on where you are in Australia. Contrary to popular beliefs not all of Australia is hot! The southern parts of Australia have a more Mediterranean climate and Tasmania is a similar climate to the UK. Parts of Australia even have snow and I won't be going there since it's too cold!

Regards,
Karen (ex- UK person now Australia citizen)
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In fairness that depends on where you are in Australia. Contrary to popular beliefs not all of Australia is hot! The southern parts of Australia have a more Mediterranean climate and Tasmania is a similar climate to the UK. Parts of Australia even have snow and I won't be going there since it's too cold!

Regards,
Karen (ex- UK person now Australia citizen)
Yes, Karen, I was just pointing out that's what some people have said about Australia, I don't know which part, but all I am saying is that in the UK you can do so many things outdoors - even in the rain and not have to bother about sunstroke or mosquitoes.Also, contrary to popular belief Britain isn't as bad as the media portray and I can't wait to return home next week.
 

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not have to bother about sunstroke or mosquitoes.
Actually you can get sunstroke in the UK - I had it some years ago in the Isle of Wight :)

But I do understand what you are saying.

If anyone is making a move the popular media is not the best place to get info on anywhere.
 
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