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How can you improve your quality of life?

We look at a few places where the UK could improve after it comes fifth in uSwitch's European quality of life index.

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The UK has come fifth in uSwitch’s European quality of life index, losing out mainly because of the few hours of sunlight that shine on this blessed isle, but the nation is also lagging in a few key areas such as mobile signal, broadband and our hefty consumer debts.

See how the UK fared in the areas below and see if we could help cut your costs and improve your quality of life.

The uSwitch European quality of life rankings

To create the index we looked at the 15 largest European countries by GDP and ranked them against 20 factors associated with quality of life, such as working hours, internet speed, electricity bills and healthcare, to find out more take a look at the full results here.




Switzerland 1
Austria 2
France 3
Sweden 4
United Kingdom 5
Spain 6
Poland 7
Denmark 8 (joint)
Finland 8 (joint)
Norway 10
Germany 11
Belgium 12 (joint)
Netherlands 12 (joint)
Italy 14
Ireland 15


Is your internet fast enough?

Although the UK continues to invest in digital infrastructure, we sit in the middle of the pack for broadband speeds in Europe, with average speeds of 16.9mbps.

This is much slower compared to Norway, which enjoys the fastest average speeds of 23.5mbps.

Country Broadband speed (mbps) Mobile signal

(the proportion of time users can connect to 3G or better signal)

Switzerland 21.7 88%
Austria 14.1 81%
France 10.8 85%
Sweden 22.5 93%
United Kingdom 16.9 84%
Spain 15.5 91%
Poland 12.6 89%
Denmark 20.1 93%
Finland 20.5 94%
Norway 23.5 90%


Is your mobile signal strong enough?

The UK is among one of the worst countries in our study, with mobile users only able to access a 3G or better signal 84.2% of the time.

This is almost 10% less than the best country for mobile signal, Finland, where consumers can access a 3G or better signal 93.9% of the time.

Are you paying too much for your energy bills?

British households pay average European prices for electricity (19 cents per kWh), ranking sixth place.

Denmark has the most expensive electricity at 31 cents per kWh and Poland the cheapest, at 94.2p and 13 cents per kWh.


Cut the cost of your debt

In the UK, Brits are racking up 150% of their total net income in debt (household debt includes everything from mortgages to credit cards and loans), meaning we are spending more than we have.

But, it could be worse, Denmark and the Netherlands have average consumer debt that’s over 250% of their net income.


  • How to clean up your finances – Switching to some new finance deals could save you hundreds a year, we look at your options for loans, credit cards, bank accounts and mortgages.

Is the cost of driving too much?

We found UK drivers pay roughly average European prices for petrol (£1.20 per litre) ranking sixth place.

But motoring in Britain seems pretty pricey when compared to Poland, who have the cheapest average price per litre of £0.94.