Spain's Public Services Win Over UK Expats

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Spain's schools, hospitals and public transport score higher than their UK equivalents, according to a new survey.

Spain offers much more than sunshine and cheap sangria to its UK expat population. Its education and health services, and its public transport system, leave the UK in the shade.

These are the findings emerging from a new survey of UK expats. The survey is being conducted by Home Espana, a leading Spanish estate agent with a busy and expanding Spanish property website, homeespana.co.uk. The survey was conducted online and individuals from a cross-section of the UK expat community -- retired, self employed, and those working for Spanish or non-Spanish companies -- logged on to answer a range of questions about their life in Spain.

Spain's obvious attractions like its sunnier climate and lower cost of living scored highly as expected, but people also gave top marks to Spain's public services compared to those in the UK. These findings reflect the general feedback given to the Home Espana team. The company has built up long term relationships with many customers who leave the UK to live in Spain and go on to buy more properties with the company or recommend their friends and family. According to Kieran Bryan, Home Espana's Managing Director, "So many of our buyers tell us how impressed they are by the high standard of the local public services in their area of Spain. As new expats, this really helps make them feel welcome and settle in quickly."

Nearly 50 percent of replies stated Spain's public healthcare was better or much better, with a further 26 percent stating it was equivalent to the UK. These high percentages are especially reassuring for older, retired people and parents with young families -- or indeed anyone who is concerned about health service standards.

In education, over 50 percent of people said Spanish schools were the same or better than their UK equivalent -- and remember, that's despite the language difference. Spain has heavily invested its transport infrastructure in recent years and. this is reflected in the survey results with again, over 50 percent of people stating public transport is the same or better than in the UK.

The survey also covered the main reasons why people had moved to Spain. Interestingly, while 70 percent of people stated that they found the cost of living was lower in Spain than in the UK, under 3 percent put this as the best thing about living in Spain. The most popular reason why people had moved to Spain, getting over 35 percent of votes, was the general quality of Spanish life.

These results seem to be showing that the high quality of Spain's public services really add to people's quality of life. For many UK expats, Spain is not just for holidays -- it is also real place to call home.

Read the full survey results at http://www.homeespana.co.uk/news.asp.

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Lucy Madle
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