The UK has always seemed expensive to raise a family – but new research has shown just how pricey it really is.

Data from MoneySupermarket has revealed that the cost of living in the UK for a four-person family is £60,000 per year – this equates to 103%  of the average household income, based on two parents’ salaries.

Despite the cost of a weekly food shop actually slightly decreasing in price over time, the overall spending on a household has risen by 11% over the last 16 years. The average monthly cost of housing and utilities per person per month has risen by 13% to £314.82, due to rising energy and house prices.

 

Is the Grass Greener on the Other Side?

 

The study compared the UK cost of living to the nine most popular UK expat destinations, and found that moving abroad to raise your family was cheaper for all the options. Sweden, Germany and Australia were the three most economical countries to raise a four-person family, and rely on just half of the income that families in the UK must put towards factors like property, bills, food and preschool.

With lower utility bills (£94.41 per month), heavily subsidised pre-school costs (£230.34) and a standard average monthly rent of £1,149.40, Sweden is the only country analysed where a single parent can comfortably afford to have two children, working out as 87 per cent of the average working salary. Based on two adults with two children it’s even more affordable, eating into less than half (43 per cent) of the combined salaries.

 The Global Cost of a Four-Person Family, as a Percentage of Two Parents’ Salaries:

Countries Ranked from Cheapest to Most Expensive:

  1. Sweden – lowest for utility bills and cost of preschool
  2. Germany – lowest spending on eating out every month
  3. Australia – low cost of groceries and high average monthly salary
  4. New Zealand – lower average monthly salary than Australia by £600
  5. Canada – low average property costs
  6. Spain – lowest average property costs per month, but low average monthly salary
  7. France – highest cost of groceries per month
  8. USA – highest cost of property per month, and highest cost of preschool
  9. Ireland – high spending on eating out and groceries but far lower monthly salary than UK
  10. UK – highest cost of eating out and high cost of preschool

Canada is nearly 30% cheaper than the USA, based on the cost of property being nearly a third of what it costs in the states, and the cost of preschool being less than half. Interestingly, the monthly cost of groceries in Canada (£227.22) is also roughly half of what it costs in the USA (£459.42), making Canada a great expat location for Brits looking to reduce their cost of living.

You can see the full study by MoneySupermarket here.