Despite the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union, which formally took place at midnight from January 31 to February 1, 2020, the economy of the Kingdom remains one of the largest in the world, the local currency is quite stable and the British feel confident in the future. Moreover, the flow of migrant workers, foreign entrepreneurs and simply foreigners planning to live on British soil is only growing.

The population of Great Britain exceeds 68 million people. At the same time more than 85% live within England. The capital London has about 9.2 million residents, making it the largest city in the Western Europe. Let's talk about prices, taxes, professions, salaries, education, medicine, and the pros and cons of living in the UK in 2024.

Living in Belgium

Pros and cons of living in the UK

According to recent studies, to indicators such as education, environment, prices, wages and health care, the best city to live in the UK is Glasgow, and the Scottish capital Edinburgh is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Birmingham is in second place, and in third place is Oxford, England. London is only on the tenth line. However, each British city has both positive and negative aspects for immigration and permanent residence.

Pros of living in the United Kingdom

  • A strong economy with a developed industrial and financial sector allows you to conduct profitable business in the UK and build a successful professional career.

  • UK has a great history and tradition, amazing architecture and world famous museums. It hosts the biggest sporting and musical events, and local pubs are famous far beyond the borders of the Kingdom.

  • The British are a very tolerant and polite people.

  • English is the official language and the mother tongue of most British people, which makes life much easier for any foreigner.

  • Quality infrastructure, education and medicine.

Pros and cons of living in the UK

Cons of living in the United Kingdom

  • Many foreigners are not thrilled with British food.

  • High taxes and cost of living in general.

  • Frequent changes in weather conditions.

  • Very expensive higher education. For example, for some medical specialties the cost of education exceeds 40 thousand pounds a year.

Prices and cost of living in the United Kingdom

Life in the UK, and in England in particular, is very expensive. Nevertheless, tens and hundreds of thousands of immigrants come to this island country. Incidentally, along with Hong Kong and Bangkok, London is one of the three most visited cities in the world, and in Europe in this indicator takes first place. Up to 20 million people come to the British capital every year. In addition, it is the richest city in Europe.

To rent a studio apartment in Britain in the central part of the city will cost about £905 a month (1,020 euros), and in remote areas about £690 (775 euros). The price of a square meter of real estate in the center – £4,400 (4,955 euros), and £3,250 (3,660 euros) outside the city. In London, renting a regular apartment will cost on average £1,500 per month (1,730 euros).

Prices in the UK in 2024

  • Bread (500g) – £1.21

  • Milk (1 L) – £1.23

  • Eggs (12 eggs) – £2.97

  • Chicken Fillets (1 kg) – £6.54

  • Potatoes (1 kg) – £1.10

  • British cheese (1 kg) – £6.92

  • Bananas (1 kg) – £1.13

  • Apples (1kg) – £2.09

  • Gasoline (1 liter) – £1.54

  • Cab (1 km) – £1.24

  • Public transport (one-way ticket) – £2.50

  • Monthly bus pass – £68.00

  • Utilities (85 sq. m.) – £253.10 per month

  • Mobile Tariff Local (month) – £12.28

  • Internet – £30.47 per month

Note. Prices are quoted in the local currency, the British Pound (£). The exchange rate of £1 today is equivalent to 1.20 US dollars and 1.13 Euros.

Tax rates in the United Kingdom

Tax rates in the United Kingdom (England) in 2024

Corporation tax – 25%.

VAT – 20%. Reduced rates – 5% (household electricity, baby carriages, social housing and services, mobility aids for the disabled) and 0% (books, newspapers, children's clothing, pet food, passenger transport, food).

The non-taxable minimum is £12,570 (from April 2021).

Income tax:

  • Annual income up to £12,570 – 0%

  • Annual income from £12,571 to £50,270 – 20%

  • Annual income between £50,271 and £150,000 – 40%

  • Annual income over £150,001 – 45%

Dividend tax:

  • Main rate – 8.75%

  • Higher rate – 33.75%

  • Additional rate - 39.35%

Property Tax – from 0% (up to £125,000) to 12% (over £1.5 million)

Social security – 12% (employee) and 13.8% (employer)

Jobs and salaries in the United Kingdom

Not only migrant workers from the former Soviet Union are interested in finding jobs in England, but also citizens of many EU member states, including Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and others. Taking into account high competition with Europeans and upcoming Brexit, only a few qualified and in-demand foreign specialists can count on successful employment in London and other major British cities with high salaries.

The most in-demand professions in Britain are financiers, programmers, engineers and doctors. In the field of unskilled labor to find a legal job is very difficult, as job vacancies are occupied by applicants from less developed EU countries, which do not require a special permit for employment. For example, citizens from CIS countries, including Russians and Ukrainians, need to find an employer in advance and apply for a work visa to Great Britain.

In terms of salaries, the United Kingdom is the leader in Europe. For example, in London the average pre-tax salary is about 4 thousand pounds a month. Since April 1, 2024 the minimum rate for workers over 21 years is £11.44 per hour. According to the National Statistics Office, taking into account bonuses, the average wage in Britain in 2024 is £623 per week and £2,700 per month.

Higher education in the United Kingdom

Higher education in the United Kingdom

The system of higher education in Great Britain is deservedly considered to be one of the highest quality and most prestigious in the world. For example, in the QS World University Rankings® 2023, there are 17 British universities, four of which are represented in the top 10. The most famous are Oxford and Cambridge Universities, as well as the reputable Imperial College London.

To get into a British university, you need to take the A-Level programme, the successful completion of which opens the door to any university in the UK. Another option is a one-year Foundation course, designed especially for international students. But not all universities recognize this program. The average cost of higher education in Great Britain is about 10 thousand pounds a year.

Medicine in the United Kingdom

The British National Health Service now employs over 1.3 million people. Each country – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales – has its own subsystem. The British government sets the total budget for England, and then special grants go to the other three states. The legislature determines for itself how much to spend on health care.

Through government funding, Britons and permanent residents of the Kingdom have access to virtually free health care, including primary care, inpatient and outpatient care, preventive and hospital services. Partial payment is made for dentistry, optometry and pharmaceutical products. Annual British spending on health care reaches 10 percent of GDP. About 10.5% of local residents purchase private health insurance.

In conclusion, the average life expectancy in the UK in 2024 is 81 years (men – 79, women – 83).

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