Expatriate life enticed nearly 400,000 people to leave the UK behind during 2008.
New statistics from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show 395,000 people made the move abroad last year.
Of these, some 158,000 were British citizens while the rest were foreign citizens who gave up the expatriate life in the UK to return to their home countries.
Karen Dunnell, chief statistician at the ONS, said this 25 per cent year-on-year rise in emigration is at least partially the result of the recession.
"Unemployment and the economic situation [are] probably having an impact," she commented.
Finances are a chief concern among those thinking about a move abroad, with issues such as international healthcare and expatriate insurance among the financial factors to consider.
A NatWest study recently found 63 per cent of UK expatriates left the country with savings of less that £5,000, but a quarter of the total are now worth between £500,00 and £1 million.