If you’ve ever wondered what people overseas think about the UK, wonder no more. We’ve crunched the data and can reveal PRECISELY what people from all over the world want to know before they move to or visit the UK.
A team of researchers based in 13 countries collated the local Google autocomplete suggestions for search terms relating to Great Britain, the United Kingdom and the popular tourist and residential locations over here.
The results are fascinating, hilarious and at times, a little worrying.
For example, why are people in Poland so concerned with the safety of our largest cities?
And why do South Africans need to know whether the UK has a death penalty?
Many of the queries were related to the standard of living over here. The weather, the shops and of course, weather the Lake District has wifi are all legitimate concerns for a savvy traveller looking to visit or relocate to the UK.
Here are our favourites. Head to the bottom of the page for the full results.
Moving to London from New Zealand
Germans don’t know what Yorkshire is…
The most searched query about Birmingham from people in the UK…
Optimistic Kiwis want to know if they can get into Cambridge.We’ve all wondered about this one, actually.
South Africa’s top questions about Edinburgh
Yes, it has pandas and a Primark. In fact, Scotland used to have more pandas than Conservative MPs, thanks to Edinburgh Zoo.
And here’s a map of the British Isles, according to Google searches performed overseas.
Top queries – English speaking queries
|Query||Canadian Google||Australian Google||New Zealand Google||American Google||British Google||Irish Google||South African Google|
|Does…||Great Britain||include Ireland||have a president||use miles||rule Canada||include Ireland||include northern Ireland||have the death penalty|
|Does…||United Kingdom||have states||have states||have a written constitution||have universal healthcare||have a constitution||have a federal government|
|Does…||England||have provinces||have snakes||have snakes||use the euro||have a constitution||want northern Ireland||have a 4th of july|
|Does…||Wales||have a prime minister||compete in the olympics||have its own language||have a king||have its own parliament||have an olympic team||have a football league|
|Does…||Northern Ireland||use pounds||compete in the olympics||want to leave the uk||want to leave the uk||have an olympic team||accept euros||have an olympic team|
|Does…||Scotland||have provinces||have bears||have an olympic team||belong to England||have a veto on Brexit?||use the euro||use the euro|
|Does…||London||have a Walmart||have uber||get snow||have uber||have hard water||have uber|
|Does…||Manchester||have an international airport||united have snapchat||airport close at night||united play tomorrow||airport have wifi||airport close at night|
|Does…||Liverpool||play today||play today||have an airport||have an airport||have a christmas market||qualify for europa league|
|Does…||Glasgow||snow||have uber||airport have a train station||have uber||have a flag||have uber|
|Does…||Edinburgh||zoo have pandas||have a beach||have an airport||have a subway||have uber||zoo have pandas|
|Does…||Cardiff||have a beach||have a beach||have uber||have a beach||have a beach||have a beach|
|Does…||Yorkshire||terrier shed||tea contain pesticides||pudding have gluten||pudding have gluten||bank open on a saturday||tea come from yorkshire|
|Does…||The Cotswolds||what does the Cotswolds mean||what does the Cotswolds mean||what does the Cotswolds mean||what area does the Cotswolds cover||where do the Cotswolds start||what countries does the cotswolds cover|
|Does…||Bath||and bodyworks sell in china||have a Primark||and body lotion expire||have a cathedral||have a park and ride|
|Does…||the Lake District||have mountains||have wifi||have wifi||have a beach||have a beach||have wifi|
|Does…||Birmingham||zoo have wifi||have uber||have uber||have a zoo||airport have a smoking area||have a port|
|Does…||Oxford||have a medical school||have uber||care about GCSEs||accept transfer students||accept btec||have a business school|
|Does…||Cambridge||accept transfer students||accept btec||accept btec||accept transfer students||accept btec||have a christmas market|
|Does…||York||university have a gym||have a beach||have free wifi||college have a nursing program||have uber||have free wifi|
|Does…||Newcastle||have a beach||get 7flix||have a beach||have a beach||have a beach||university have a reading read|
Top queries – Non-English speaking countries
We’ve left blanks where there was no autocomplete suggestion.
|Spanish Google||French Google||German Google||Polish Google||Dutch Google||Belgian Google|
|Does…||Great Britain||mean the same as England||have an immigration surplus||belong to the Schengen region|
|Does…||United Kingdom||belong to the Schengen region||use the euro||have multiple countries|
|Does…||England||is England easy to travel to||is England part of Europe||have summer time||get flooded||have summer and winter||have a constitution|
|Does…||Wales||is wales a country||is wales a country||have its own language||belong to the UK||have its own government||have its own government|
|Does…||Northern Ireland||is NI a country||does northern Ireland have snakes||have the euro||have safety concerns||have a lot of people||have postcodes|
|Does…||Scotland||is Scotland independent||does Scotland have mosquitos||drive on the left||have its on country||have a king||have a parliament|
|Does…||London||is London dangerous for tourists||does London have a Sephora||have safety concerns||have a port||have a port|
|Does…||Manchester||is manchester a safe city||does manchester have things to do||united have a chance in the champions league||City plan on bidding on Messi||united have debt|
|Does…||Liverpool||is Liverpool a safe city||does Liverpool have things to do||have safety concerns||how much did Lverpool pay for Suarez||have multiple airports|
|Does…||Glasgow||is Glasgow safe||have safety concerns||have multiple airports||have multiple airports|
|Does…||Edinburgh||does Edinburgh have museums||have a Primark||have a lot of people||have a lot of people|
|Does…||Cardiff||have a lot of people||have safety concerns||have a lot of people||have a lot of people|
|Does…||Yorkshire||what is Yorkshire||how do you make Yorkshire pudding|
|Does…||The Cotswolds||what is the Cotswolds|
|Does…||Bath||is bath expensive||have a lot of people||have a lot of people|
|Does…||the Lake District||have many lakes|
|Does…||Birmingham||is Birmingham safe||have an airport||have safety concerns||have a lot of people||have a lot of people|
|Does…||Oxford||is oxford university public or private||does oxford have things to do||have past papers||is oxford difficult to get into||have an airport||have more than one university|
|Does…||Cambridge||is Cambridge a city||does Cambridge have multiple universities||have past papers||is Cambridge difficult to get into||have a lot of people||have a lot of people|
|Does…||York||have an airport||have good weather|
|Does…||Newcastle||United travel to Poland||have a lot of people||have a lot of people|
A note on methodology
We had researchers in each of the ‘searching’ countries, using their local version of Google. For non-English speaking countries, we used the local language to perform the search. In some cases, we had to modify the format of the question to replicate a realistic search. For example, the English translation of the German searches was ‘Has England…’ rather than ‘does England’.
We selected the counties from which the most visitors to the UK come, plus the largest English-speaking countries outside of Great Britain.
We conducted our analysis between October 19th and November 7th.
Each researcher used the same browser (Google Chrome) on a laptop or desktop computer.
Google autocomplete offers a suggestion based on the most popular search terms made in the user’s locality. These suggestions do change and can be influenced by device, but the suggestions Google makes are a very strong indicator of what other users have searched for.