America may have been a British colony just 250 years ago, but nowadays the inhabitants of Britain and the United States couldn’t be more different from each other. Despite a shared common language, Brits have habits and customs that would be completely unrecognizable in the United States. Here are ten ways that Brits are different from Americans.
They’re more reserved
Brits are known for keeping their emotions and opinions to themselves. In fact, they often view overly expressive Americans as rude.
They drive on the left
In the United Kingdom, cars drive on the left-hand side of the road. This is the opposite of the United States, where drivers stay to the right. Brits are also more likely to drive cars with manual transmission, while Americans prefer automatic.
They spell certain words differently.
A center in the United Kingdom is known as a “centre”. The word marvelous is spelled “marvellous”, whereas a color is referred to as a “colour”.
They’re more protected at work
Brits are legally entitled to 28 days of paid vacation, 39 weeks of maternity leave, and country-wide discrimination protection. On the other hand, U.S. workers are not guaranteed any paid vacation, new mothers only get 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and discrimination laws vary by state.
They live in smaller houses
The average size of a home in the United Kingdom is 1,063 square feet. In the United States, it’s 2,330 square feet.
They don’t use air conditioning
Americans love their air conditioning; 87% of U.S. homes are outfitted with A/C. This is a luxury in the United Kingdom, where only 0.5% of homes are air conditioned.
They drink more tea
Brits consume an average of 2.5 cups of tea per person per day. The rate of tea consumption in the United States is much lower at 0.7 cups per person per day. (But Americans consume more than twice as much coffee as Brits.)
They own fewer guns
There are more guns than people in the United States. In the United Kingdom, you’ll only find one gun for every 20 people. This is partially due to much stricter firearms regulations; even British police don’t usually carry guns.
They speak more languages
39% of Brits speak a second language. This is nearly twice the rate of Americans, only 20% of whom are bilingual.
They travel more
Thanks to cheaper international plane tickets and easier geographic access to foreign countries, Brits are much more likely to take a vacation out of the country. As of 2019, 175,000 Americans are estimated to be living in the United Kingdom, with around 700,000 Brits residing in the United States. There are also 3.9 million U.S. tourists who visit the United Kingdom each year and 4.9 million Brits who travel to the United States. Despite their cultural differences, Brits and Americans enjoy experiencing each other’s countries in-depth through immersion.
About the Author
Lisa Melillo is a freelance writer and entrepreneur with a background in personal finance, tech, and business. Her multidisciplinary career has taken her around the globe; she has lived in four countries, speaks three languages, and holds two international degrees.
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