What Was the Average Age of Expats Living Abroad in 2023

There can be many benefits to moving abroad for people of all ages. Whether you’re just starting out in your career, looking to move abroad to advance further in your specific career, want to start a family abroad, or want to retire in a new country, you’ll be able to enjoy a new way of life and a new culture.

But what is the average age of expats living abroad? Using data from InterNations, we look into the average age of expats and the age group that has the most expats, and consider what the best age to move abroad might be.

The average age of expats living abroad 2023

The average age of expats living abroad is 46.2 years old. The highest percentage age group of people living abroad is 61 and above, with 18% of expats aged within this bracket. The second highest age group was those aged between 36-40, at 14%.

The full breakdown of ages, according to InterNations, is below:

25 and below4%
61 and above18%

The two age brackets with the highest percentage of expats can be attributed to two reasons – work and retirement.

Why do people retire abroad?

Retiring abroad is a popular choice for people in a lot of countries and can be the reason why 61+ is the largest age group of expats. Many people who reach retirement will be looking for the next adventure in life, so immersing yourself in a new culture overseas can be the perfect choice.

For those who live in colder countries, retirement can be a great opportunity to move somewhere with a warmer, more temperate climate. For example, many British expats choose to retire in Spain, as it offers a warm climate and is still within a short travel distance to the UK, if people want to be able to return to visit friends and family.

Australia is another country that’s popular for people to retire to. Again, the country offers a warm and sunny climate, and has the added benefit of having English as the national language, so retirees won’t have to learn a new language.  

A lower cost of living can also be a draw for those looking to retire abroad. Countries like Spain and Portugal, both popular retiree destinations, typically offer a cheaper way of life for many expats, in everything from accommodation to daily costs. It means people can often have a better quality of life abroad than they may have been able to afford in their home country.

Why do people move abroad to work?

The second-biggest age bracket is of expats aged 36-40, at 14%, closely followed by expats aged 30-35, at 13%. This will likely be made up of people who are wanting to move abroad to work and start a family.

There can be many reasons why someone might want to move abroad to work. Depending on your chosen career field, certain countries may offer better opportunities for you. Indeed, in some places, there are specific visas and incentives to encourage people working in specific industries and roles to move there, to help fill skills gaps. Some countries may have a better economy than an expat’s home country, and so may simply have better prospects because of this.

Another reason people will want to move abroad to work is to enjoy a different kind of lifestyle. Some countries may operate a generally more relaxed way of life, whilst others might have more of a focus on work and career. Depending on your personal preferences, either of these could be enticing.

Some countries, such as those in Scandinavia, might offer better benefits for working people, such as flexible working as standard, and a focus on family life. For people who want to have a family and a career, these types of locations can be the perfect solution to balancing everything.

What’s the best age to move abroad?

There is really no “best” age to move abroad. There can be advantages and disadvantages to moving abroad at any age.

For example, moving abroad when you’re young can be great, as you may have fewer dependents, such as children or elderly parents. This can give you the freedom and flexibility to travel around and explore new places. On the other hand, moving abroad when you’re young could have the downside that you don’t have the necessary career experience to get the role that you want, or that you don’t have enough money and savings to qualify for a visa.

Moving abroad when you’re a little older can be good, as you will likely have more experience and a more developed skillset, so you may find it easier to get a job in your chosen field overseas. Moving abroad when you have young children can be a great choice, as the younger children will find it easier to pick up a second language, and so find it easier to integrate. The issue may arise if you move abroad with older children, who will likely be more settled in their home country and may be reluctant to uproot their lives. However, that doesn’t mean it will be impossible – by taking the right approach, everyone could be encouraged and excited to move abroad.

Retiring abroad, as we discussed, is a popular choice for many. At this age, you will generally have fewer dependents, as any children will have likely grown up and moved out of home. You would also not have to worry about finding a career or work commitments, so could pick a country based on other factors such as lifestyle and climate, giving you more flexibility. A possible downside to retiring overseas is related to finding the right country – you would have to consider your specific needs, such as around healthcare and travel to and from your home country, if you still have family and friends based there.

What to consider when you move abroad

What you’ll need to consider when you move abroad will depend on what age you are when you move. There are some factors, such as safety, healthcare, and infrastructure, that will apply to all ages.

No matter what age you are when you move abroad, international health insurance would likely be beneficial. Whether you plan to start a family, or you’re retired, there will be numerous reasons why you will want to ensure you have access to the best possible healthcare while you’re abroad. Private medical insurance from Expatriate Group will give you access to the best healthcare professionals and facilities, to keep you and your loved ones’ health protected.

If you’re moving abroad to work, you will have to consider employment opportunities. There may be some countries that are better suited than others, whether you plan to work in an industry such as tourism or hospitality, or something more specific.

If you’re moving abroad with children, you’ll need to consider the educational opportunities. Many countries have great quality international schools located near larger cities, which can be a good choice for older children, or for families who will be moving around more often.

Related News