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Over recent decades the UK has become a magnet for expats and migrants seeking good prospects, a strong economy and the opportunity for gainful employment. According to the most recent UK census, the current foreign-born population of Britain has increased 50% in the last decade and has surpassed an astonishing 7 million people.
Long a popular destination among Indians and Pakistanis (the largest groups of non-native UK residents) the immigrant population has swollen yet further with the introduction of the European Union and the free travel offered to those from Eastern Europe. Many of the Polish, Lithuanians and Romanians that have flooded to British shores have established new lives for themselves and become an essential part of the UK economy.
However despite proving a tempting destination for the 12% of the British population who weren’t originally born here, it seems that Brits themselves are increasingly finding their attention drawn overseas. Some might claim that the British don’t know a good thing when they see it, but it seems that there are a number of factors encouraging ever more to live the expat lifestyle in another country.
Now a new study has revealed what impresses British expats most about their adopted countries; some of which paint their previous experiences in the UK under a rather poor light.
To begin with, 89% of Brits who have moved overseas claim to have a far better quality of life than they did when living in the UK. This is even when only 25% of expats are retired; it seems even working-age expats are finding foreign cultures far more appealing to a high quality of life.
Part of that is likely the shorter working week – and increased free time as a result. 85% of the expats surveyed for the recent study by Cotton Traders claim that they have more leisure time now that they’ve left British shores. Furthermore, 77% of British expats said that they had more free time overall than they did in the UK.
But it’s not just the increased free time that is drawing Brits to an expat life overseas. Half of all UK expats find living abroad cheaper than their equivalent life in the UK – even when flights ‘home’ and the costs of expat health insurance are factored into their everyday living expenses.
Lastly it seems that expensive housing in the UK is serving as a major contributing factor in many expats decisions to move abroad. As house prices have now recovered from the economic downturn and are showing double-digit growth on a regular basis, one in four expats said that more affordable housing is one of the key attractions for them in terms of a life overseas.
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Expatriate Group & Expatriate Healthcare are trading styles of Strategic Insurance Services Limited who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). FCA Firm reference Number is 307133. Strategic Insurance Services Limited is authorised to carry on Regulated Activities in accordance with the permissions granted by the FCA under PART IV of the Financial Services and Markets ACT 2000.