We’re doing more and more removals from cities to the country, so we decided to create a poll to find out why so many people are leaving the hustle and bustle of city life!
The results revealed that 62% of residents have considered moving out of big cities. Devon has been named the most popular escape destination with Cornwall coming close in second place, showing us that Brits crave a slower pace of life and cleaner air.
Beyond the South-West, Yorkshire proved a popular antidote to urban dwelling as its rolling hillsides are a big draw for city slickers. Kent, home to “hipster paradise” Margate, has become a strong contender. Our data shows that a seaside or countryside destination are favourites for Brits looking to migrate.
Here are the top 10 most desired city escape destinations
Almost half of the participants feel that living outside of a city would help them spend more quality time with their partner, as 33% of Brits admit to letting their other half influence where they have lived in the past.
The top reasons Brits are looking to move out of cities include overcrowding, air pollution and the commute, with London being the worst affected.
Overcrowding, small property sizes and constant noise were far bigger worries in London than the rest of the country. Over a quarter of Londoners are sick of public transport strikes and would cite them as a major downside to living in the capital; making it almost three times as big a concern as it is for the rest of the country.
Top 5 reasons for moving out of London
- Air Pollution (52%)
- Overcrowding (50%)
- Lack of space (46%)
- Constant Noise (41%)
- Crime (32%)
Top 5 reasons for moving out of a city
- Overcrowding (35%)
- Constant Noise (35%)
- Lack of Space (34%)
- Air Pollution (34%)
- Crime (28%)
By percentage, movement out of the capital has been increasing year on year since 2014. Prior to 2014, moves into London always surpassed moves out of the capital, but by 2014 that changed to an even split. Last year, however, that increased to a 3:2 divide. In total, 61% of our moves involving London were people migrating away from the city, a rate of 1.58.
Pollution is the biggest worry in the capital, with over half of Londoners seeing the quality of air as a major concern which could cause them to move away.
Pollution was predicted to reach “high” — the same as red —as a cloud of toxic air from Germany was set to sweep the nation, smothering central and west London, and the number of delivery vans on the roads has grown to an all-time high.
In London there are 7,300 delivery vans on the road every hour, with 50% of them half full, and a quarter of them empty, which means that we are transporting over 43,000 volumetric tonnes of empty air per hour. On an average day that means we are delivering enough empty air to fill the Titanic twenty times! With an efficient delivery truck producing about 220 g per km of CO2, and the average distance travelled per day we could be racking up over 5,000 tonnes of needless CO2 emissions a day, and a staggering 1.83 million tonnes of CO2 is needlessly released into the atmosphere per year.
It may seem odd for a delivery company to be highlighting this, but we were founded to help alleviate this problem. By utilising empty space in its fleet of 60,000 van providers already making journeys, we have already helped reduce the amount of journeys being made, with the added benefit of drastically reducing the cost of deliveries. Van drivers are now making more money per trip than they would have otherwise.
While air pollution, overcrowding and travel chaos are clearly factors in the migration trend, there are still urban luxuries that would be missed by Londoners, including a large choice of multicultural cuisines to dine on, city nightlife, and on-demand food services such as Deliveroo and UBER Eats – all things that aren’t readily available in quieter towns and cities.
This may explain why, according to our data, people in London are most likely to move to other cities; the most popular being, in order, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham. In 2016, moves to Manchester increased by 39%, Birmingham 29% and Leeds a staggering 50%.
For the some of us, however, the perks of living outside of a city outweigh the things you may miss out on. Open green spaces, cleaner air, a slower pace of life and more of a work-life balance are all named as top reasons to make the move.
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