New Zealand has topped Alliance and Leicester International's (ALIL) poll of the best places to live...
New Zealand has topped Alliance and Leicester International's (ALIL) poll of the best places to live, in terms of quality of life and cost of living.
The country has one of the lowest average property prices at £105,750 and low costs for food, drink and fuel. It also has a favourable tax regime with the highest band at 39%, significantly lower than its neighbour Australia's 50%, according to ALIL.
In ALIL's cost of living scorecard, New Zealand was followed by South Africa, Florida, Dubai and Canada, while the UK rated eighth of the 14 countries.
France is the most expensive country, followed by Hong Kong, Spain, New York and Singapore.
New Zealand also takes the top spot for the best quality of life, mainly due to its low crime rate, mild weather, good working hours and generous annual leave, according to the poll.
Australia came second, with a glut of European destinations - Italy, Spain, Portugal and France - scoring highly because of their relaxed Mediterranean-style life/work balance. However, the UK and Canada's inclement weather conditions moved them down the table, said ALIL.
Despite being the second cheapest country to set up home, South Africa scored far worse for quality of life, mainly due to a high crime rate. Notorious for high levels of property crime, the country also has the highest rate of murder of any of the countries listed in the poll, with nearly 0.5 murders per thousand people.
However, New York scored lowest for quality of life with its 40-hour working week, 10 days' annual leave and relatively high crime rate. Yet its bottom place may be disputed by fast-living, nightlife-loving devotees who also like its high salaries.
Simon Ripton, acting MD of ALIL, said costs and quality of life are often not the primary reason UK citizens move abroad, but are certainly important factors.
"Most places have their unique attractions, so while one country might be someone's idea of heaven, it might be another's idea of hell," he said.
The ranking from top to bottom for the countries' overall place in the poll is: New Zealand, Italy, Australia, Portugal, Dubai, Spain, South Africa, UK, Florida, Singapore, Canada, France, Hong Kong and New York.
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