The UK is the worst place to live in Europe while France and Spain come out top for quality of life, according to the latest uSwitch.com Quality of Life Index. But for those living in the North West of England, things seem to be even worse – over half (52%) have thought about emigrating, while 13% are seriously considering it.
Those living in the North West are also the least happy in the UK - just a fifth (21%) say they are happy living here, compared to the national average of just over a quarter (27%). And even those not thinking about emigrating aren’t necessarily happy – people in the North West of England are among the most likely to stay because of their family (13%) while 10% are put off by the money and hassle involved in emigrating.
Spain is the country of choice for those in the North West – 15% would chose to move there if they could live anywhere in Europe.
While the “broken society” is the biggest concern for those in the North West, they are also worried about job security and unemployment, crime and violence and the cost of energy.
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, says: “The UK has the worst quality of life in Europe and those living in the North West of England seem to be feeling this more keenly than the average Brit – over half (52%) have thought about emigrating. The broken society and crime and violence are among a long list of woes, so it’s not surprising just a fifth are happy.
“But for those who decide to stick it out and ride the storm, there will be no choice but to batten down the hatches. Cutting back and saving can help combat the high living costs and contribute to a better quality of life and while there are signs that consumers are already doing so, more could be done. Taking control of our household finances may be the only way we can steer through these turbulent times until we reach a point where we can start to see our quality of life improve.”
Most likely to think about emigrating:
1, London (55%); 2, North West (52%); 3, East Midlands (48%); joint 4, Yorkshire and Humber, West Midlands, South East (46%); joint 7, South West, Scotland (43%); 9, Wales (42%), 10, East of England (40%); 11, Northern Ireland (37%); 12, North East (36%).