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Expatriate Insurance News: Canada 'top destination for expats'

British expatriates who have moved to Canada generally have a better time than those in other countries, a new study has indicated.

The NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index, performed in conjunction with the Centre of Future Studies, placed this nation in the number one spot for the third time since the investigation began.

Although international medical insurance is useful in all countries, 90 per cent of respondents to the study claimed Canadian healthcare provisions were a key factor to their wellbeing, with 88 per cent citing multiculturalism and 96 per cent pointing to the human rights and freedoms provided in the nation.

According to Lonely Planet, 13.3 per cent of Canadians only speak French and out of a population of 33 million, six per cent are unemployed.

"It's clear that Canada remains a wonder of the world for expats and is a success story in its own right," head of NatWest Personal Banking Dave Isley stated.

New Zealand was ranked in second place, followed by Australia, France, South Africa and Portugal.

In 2007, 23 per cent of the expats surveyed said they were planning to return to the UK, but this figure has now dropped to 17 per cent.

"Those who are most likely to return home are those who retired to France, Portugal and Spain as their disposable income diminishes and the cost of living rises," Mr Isley added.

The global financial downturn has impacted expatriates internationally, but 72 per cent claimed their quality of life is the same or better than it was five years ago.

A total of 44 per cent are spending less money than they used to on luxury items, although 66 per cent stated they are not significantly cutting their outgoings.

Furthermore, 83 per cent of the people polled rated themselves between 'comfortably off' and 'quite prosperous', representing a slight rise since 2007 to 2008.

However, the proportion calling themselves 'very prosperous' has fallen to seven per cent, from 17 per cent before the credit crunch.

"Looking back over the past five years, we now can recognise that we have lived through the most troubled global economic period since the end of World War II," Mr Isley stated.

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