Rich Brits seek greener grass

June 21, 2011, 7:25 PM GMT+0

Significant numbers of wealthy British people think the UK offers a poorer lifestyle, worse well-being, and less 'general happiness' than other developed countries, our survey of those with assets of £250,000 or more has discovered.

A paltry percentage of Britain's financial high flyers believe people living in Britain are happier than elsewhere, whereas more than half say people living in Britain are generally less content. Only 3% think people in Britain are less stressed than in other developed countries, compared to almost three in five who think they are more stressed.

The survey revealed that more than a third of high-earners are keen to move abroad, while 14% are considering moving in the next two years.

  • More than a third of British people (36%) with assets over £250,000 believe they will live abroad at some point
  • While 14% are considering moving overseas within the next two years
  • 30% agree that in the past two years the state of the UK economy has made the prospect of moving abroad more attractive
  • More than two in five (43%) people name levels of crime and anti-social behaviour as a key aspect to encouraging them to leave the UK, whilst high taxation is also hard to tolerate, with 35% citing this cause
  • While 62% say monitoring levels of happiness is just as important as monitoring financial wellbeing, a significant 80% agree that their finances play an important role in their overall happiness
  • 43% say people in the UK have a lower quality of life compared to other developed countries, with just 10% saying that life in the UK is better
  • 53% believe that people in the UK are not as happy as in other developed countries, with 58% saying people in the UK are more stressed

The poll took place after the Government announced plans last November for a 'Happiness Index' – a measure of well-being based on more than simply money.

Nicholas Boys Smyth from Lloyds commented: ‘Many wealthy people are downbeat about life in the UK. There's a groundswell of opinion that the key to happiness may not be found in Britain and that a better life can be had elsewhere.

Maybe Britain needs to get serious about being happy – certainly wealthy people think that monitoring national well-being could be a means to start improving it.’