Miserable Britons, fed up with life in the UK, are considering emigrating to sunnier climes this January, according to new research from Moneycorp, the foreign exchange specialist. It found that nearly half – 48% – of the British population believe January to be the most depressing month of the year and 40% would consider emigrating as a result of feeling depressed or anxious.
However, the temptation to relocate is stronger in some than others: according to the research 47% of Londoners are disillusioned with Britain, compared with just 34% of Scots.
And it seems the state of Britain, economically and politically, plays a significant role in the nation’s January blues. Over a third are dismayed by the state of the NHS, rising to almost half of the over 55s.
More than one in five of the population are troubled by the apparent instability of interest rates, and for 18%, the threat of the credit crunch and the uncertainty surrounding the housing market makes this January a nail-biting time. Interestingly, it appears Scots are the most positive when it comes to confidence in the housing market – just 12% worry about prices. Londoners, however, bear the brunt of the anxiety with 21% saying it depresses them.
Seasonal factors are also casting a cloud over the mood of our countrymen. Nearly two thirds are made miserable by the cold, wet, winter weather and short, dark days. And in typical British fashion, it’s the weather that seems to be luring people abroad. Of those who would emigrate, 87% are enticed by better weather and a superior quality of living. Many are attracted by the thought of slackening their purse strings: two thirds are charmed by the thought of cheaper housing and more than half are won over by the prospect of less financial pressure.
For Brits, it’s English-speaking countries that are proving most popular, making up four out of the five top emigration spots. Australia came top, with New Zealand second favourite and Canada and the USA in third and fourth place respectively. Spain joins the list as the top European destination at number five.
Indeed Canada has come top of a recent survey to find the best places to live in the world. The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked 127 cities in terms of personal risk, infrastructure and the availability of goods and services, and Canada had three cities in the top ten alone. Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary were all rated as some of the best places to live, with Vancouver at number one.