The United Kingdom remains one of the world’s more favoured destinations for immigrants hailing from all four corners of the globe, with many in search of new job opportunities and a better quality of life. The four countries which make up the Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – is expensive compared to many places in the world, particularly in London.
Five UK cities feature in Mercer’s annual cost of living index, which ranks 207 cities worldwide in order of most expensive by measuring the comparative cost of over 200 items in each location including transport, food, clothing and the cost of housing. In 2015, London ranked 12th, Birmingham 80th, Aberdeen 82nd, Glasgow 109th and Belfast 127th.
In recent years, the UK cost of living has been rising significantly, mostly due to increasing car insurance and energy price. Although salaries tend to be relatively high, the reason for this is often to offset the higher cost of living. In general, you will find that major cities like London are more expensive, while the provinces and countryside towns are far more reasonable.
One of Britain’s greatest assets is its National Health Service (NHS). Public healthcare in the UK is free to all British citizens and expats from countries such as Australia, New Zealand and EU member states due to reciprocal healthcare agreements. Most expats will also be eligible to send their children to British state schools at no cost.