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Britain worst, France best place to live in Europe

Last updated on: September 22, 2010 15:34 IST

Image: The London Bridge.

Britain is the worst place to live in Europe -- while France is the best, says a new survey.

Britain came ninth out of the 10 European countries in a Quality of Life Index due to high living costs, below average government spending on health and education, short holidays and late retirement.

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Britain worst, France best place to live in Europe

Image: Louvre Museum, Paris, France.

France topped the Index for the second year in a row, with the French enjoying the highest quality of life, closely followed by Spain and Denmark.

In fact, in the UK, people pay the highest prices for food and diesel, yet the government spends below European average on health and education.

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Britain worst, France best place to live in Europe

Image: Copenhagen, Denmark.

Britons also work longer hours, retire later, receive less annual leave than most of our European counterparts and get less sunshine along the way.

And, their life expectancy is below the European average of 79.3.

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Britain worst, France best place to live in Europe

Image: Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy.

On the other hand, France enjoys the earliest retirement age, spends the most on healthcare and has the longest life expectancy in Europe.

Its workers also benefit from 36 days holiday a year, compared with just 28 in the UK, and it comes only behind Spain and Italy for sunshine hours.

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Britain worst, France best place to live in Europe

Image: Civil courts of justice, madrid, Spain.

Spain has the most sunshine, the lowest prices for alcohol and the highest number of days holiday in Europe at 43 days a year.

However, the Spanish government spends the least on education, according to the Quality of Life Index. 'uSwitch.com', which organised the Index, compared 16 factors in 10 European countries.

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Britain worst, France best place to live in Europe

Image: British Parliament.

"Last year Brits were miserable but rich. This year we're miserable and poor. Whereas some countries work to live, in the UK consumers live to work," spokeswoman Ann Robinson was quoted by the British media as saying.

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