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Britain has more expats than any other EU country

More British citizens live abroad than people from any other country in the European Union, according to new research.

China and India are the only other nations in the world that have more expatriates than the UK, the study published by Finaccord found.

It surveyed 25 countries worldwide to compile the data and discovered that 1.19 million people were living as expats in Britain last year, yet more Brits were going abroad.

Tobias Schneider, a consultant at the firm, said: "By 2017, Finaccord forecasts that foreign expatriates living in the UK will have reached around 1.30 million while UK expatriates abroad will number approximately 1.21 million, meaning that the net difference will have widened to almost 90,000."

Of those Brits moving to another country, six out of ten did so for a job, while one in four are retired and less than one in 20 made the change to study in a foreign country.

The migration in the opposite direction comprises a different demographic however, with four in ten expats in the UK moving here as students.

Less than half are working and fewer than five in 100 have chosen the UK as a retirement destination.

Mr Schneider said: "Indeed, this strong inflow of foreign students means that higher education in the UK receives more funding from overseas than that of any country in the world apart from the US, which must surely be beneficial to the UK economy."

Potential British expats find it easy to move overseas due to historical ties with the rest of the world and the reputation for well educated employees to take on specialist jobs.

The research found that Australia, the USA and Canada were the most popular countries for Brits to relocate to, with the United Arab Emirates also proving attractive since the 2008 economic downturn.

Spain, France and the Netherlands came out on top for nations within the European Union, although the latter was mainly chosen by workers and the former two by retirees.

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