With Ireland and the UK sitting so close to one another, it can be easy to think that life in both of these beautiful countries is exactly the same. While some elements of life will see little change, there is much to be considered in an international move for you and your family. Researching the differences between Ireland and the UK in terms of culture and everyday life is a vital part of the decision making process. To help, we have put together a comprehensive comparison between living in Ireland vs. the UK.
If you’re looking to remain in the UK, read our guide to the top 10 places to live in the UK.
Cost of Living in Ireland vs. the UK
The first and possibly most important element in our Ireland UK comparison is the cost of living. It may come as a surprise to learn that the cost of living in Ireland is significantly higher than in the UK. A study from 2018 by Provident Personal Credit showed that the overall cost of living in Ireland was 13.97% more expensive than living in the UK. This included rental prices being around 50% more expensive, with consumer products and even groceries costing more in Ireland too.
Despite the Irish workforce being paid more than the UK population on average, this is dependent on the exact location and specific position, so you should ensure that you will be earning enough to support yourself and your family should you decide to relocate to our neighbouring nation.
Quality of Life
When considering an international move, quality of life will always be an important factor to consider, so we have, of course, included it in our Ireland UK comparison. When we look at living in Ireland vs. the UK, quality of life is judged to be higher in Ireland. In fact, Ireland ranked second in the United Nations 2020 annual ranking of 189 countries, second only to Norway. So why is Ireland better than the UK in this category? This measurement is based on the categories of life expectancy, years of schooling, and gross national income per capita. In the same ranking, the UK ranked 13th, behind countries like Germany, Australia, and Denmark. While there are many other factors influencing the quality of life, Ireland is nonetheless one of the best countries to live in terms of these 3 important factors.
Public Transport and Infrastructure
Another important aspect of your quality of life will be how easy it is to get around the country. It goes for both Ireland and the UK that public transport is superior the closer to a city you choose to live. Your experience in Dublin will likely be very different to rural Ireland, just as it would differ between London and more rural areas of the UK. However, generally speaking, public transport links across the Irish nation are fairly poor. This could be a factor encouraging over ⅓ of Ireland’s population in the capital city and could lead you to the same decision.
Weather is a common topic of conversation in the UK, as well as in Ireland. Both nations share fairly poor weather conditions year-round, though increasingly warm summers continue to be frequent in both countries. Rainy and windy conditions are common throughout the other months, and sometimes into summer. Unpredictable conditions are common, so you’ll need to prepare for all conditions if you decide to move to Ireland.
Making friends and forming connections with colleagues will be important when moving to a new country. Luckily for UK citizens moving to Ireland, the people of Ireland are known to be one of the friendliest populations in the world. Banter, or ‘craic’, is a common part of friendships, and this is often similar to relationships in the UK. Socialising in pubs in Ireland in the evening is a popular way to unwind and can be an important time to form strong connections. Ensuring that you follow etiquette, such as buying and accepting rounds of drinks as a group, is vital. While drinking in pubs is popular in the UK, it’s important to prepare for the large role it can play in your social life in Ireland.
Buying or Renting Property
Property prices are another important element in the Ireland UK comparison guide. When not considering London, rental prices in Ireland’s cities tend to be more expensive than in the UK’s cities, as mentioned when discussing the cost of living in both countries. However, if you are looking to purchase property, Ireland is generally more affordable than the UK. If you currently live in accommodation in one of the UK’s large cities, it might be possible to purchase a larger property with more land in Ireland countryside.
What’s more, mortgage costs are typically more manageable as a result of higher incomes in Ireland (Everything Overseas, 2018). This is an important factor to consider when comparing Ireland and the UK as it will have a large impact on your quality of life.
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If you are a UK national, you are entitled to be treated the same as an Irish national when it comes to being considered for employment. While this means there are no barriers due to your nationality, job shortages can still pose a problem when it comes to job hunting. To increase your chances of finding a job in Ireland, you can apply for jobs in sectors that come under the nation’s skill shortage. The following sectors are all included in these skill shortages:
- Transport & Logistics
To further help your job search in Ireland, keep checking sources such as social media, local newspapers, community noticeboards, and job sites like Irish Jobs and Jobs.ie.
For more information on moving to Ireland, check out our Guide to Relocating to Ireland, including useful advice on moving your personal effects, vehicle, or even pet to Ireland.