There can be several reasons British citizens choose to pack up their life in the UK and emigrate abroad. Whether it’s to improve the quality of their family’s life, reduce the cost of living, relocate for work or simply for a change of scenery, migrating overseas is a popular choice amongst the UK population. According to the Office for National Statistics, around 397,000 people emigrated from the UK in 2019 alone – that’s over 1,000 people a day!
So, what are the countries that are seeing the highest level of migration from UK expats and why?
Top of our list is the land down under – notorious for its endless summers. UK expats moving to Australia are drawn to the warmer climate, friendly Aussie culture and the pleasant work-life-balance.
Moving to Australia: UK expat trends
In 2017, Australia topped the charts as the most popular relocation destination for Brits, with over 1.3m UK migrants. Over the past three years we’ve seen a steady number of families and partners moving to live the winter sun dream, thanks to the highly rated education system, salary attraction and as it’s a retirement hotspot.
Best places for expats in Australia
There are so many great destinations for UK expats in Australia. If you’re emigrating with your family, Canberra is a good choice thanks to its small-town feel and affordable property. Perth is renowned for its UK expat community due to its warmer climate and scenic views. Career orientated individuals tend to opt for Sydney or Melbourne because of the job opportunities available.
Spain has always been a prime location for UK migration; home to beautiful beaches and first class healthcare. The property buying procedure is not as expensive and is less hassle than in the UK. The cost-effective way of living comes without the culture shock – plus, as an added bonus afternoon naps or ‘siestas’ are the norm.
Moving to Spain: UK expat trends
Property purchases by Brits have risen by 13% since 2016, with 7,613 purchases in the first six months of 2018. We’ve seen a slight fall in UK expats moving to Spain between 2016 and 2017 due to the impact of the Brexit referendum, but numbers have been on the rise since 2018.
Best places to live in Spain
We’ve found that most Brits tend to move to Alicante (Costa Blanca) or Malaga (Costa del Sol) – both regions are renowned for their stunning scenery, noticeably warmer climate and English speaking locals.
Canada was ranked 3rd on the Expat Explorer Survey, scoring high for its education, level of disposable income, economic stability, welcoming communities and quality of life. Between 6,000 – 9,000 UK expats move to Canada each year, making it one of the most popular destinations for migration.
Moving to Canada: UK expat trends
There’s been a spike in UK residents moving to Canada since the 2016 referendum, with over 620,000 migrants moving there in 2017. Now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced their plans to move to Canada, we can only predict that this destination will continue to rise in popularity.
Best places for expats in Canada
Canada has many hotspots for UK expats, depending on the reason for emigrating. Vancouver is a popular option for rural and scenic views. Toronto has a diverse and international community with great career prospects, whereas Montreal has a fantastic work-life balance and affordable property markets.
Despite New Zealand being the adventure capital of the world, UK expats are drawn to the more relaxed way of the Kiwi life, ranking the 5th best place on Expat Explorer Survey for expats to move to. Did you know that there are so many great job opportunities in New Zealand? Trades are high in demand and are often paid better than the UK too.
Moving to New Zealand: UK expat trends
Net migration by Brits reached over 6,000 in 2017, almost double the figures of 2015. We’ve seen a yo-yo effect of people moving to New Zealand since then, with the number of new migrants each month decreasing in May-July each year, with the peak time for emigrating being around January.
Best places for expats in New Zealand
Auckland is a popular city for expats; a vibrant city that’s great for families thanks to its safety, stability and diverse culture along with a world class education system. Other popular destinations include Queenstown, Napier and Rotorua.
France has one of the largest British-born populations. Pros of immigrating to France include the divine wining and dining, the excellent education system that offers after-school support, and the proven property markets. There’s a healthy work-life balance – the working week is only 35 hours, leisurely lunch breaks are a must, and there’s an average of 5 weeks paid holiday.
Moving to France: UK expat trends
In 2017, there was an estimated 190,000 Brits living in France. Over the past three years we’ve seen a huge increase in people moving there from the UK, desperate to relocate ahead of the Brexit deadline. Britons still represent the largest portion of overseas buyers in the French property market, accounting for 26% of international sales in 2018.
Best places to live in France
We’ve found that the high in demand places are Paris and the South of France. Paris is one of the most iconic cities in the world, with famous building structures and scenic locations, coupled with accessible transport links. The South of France boasts 300 days of sun a year, offering a change of lifestyle and increased quality of life. If you’re looking for a location out of the ordinary, some of the best places for UK expats to live France are Lyon for more cost-effective living and stunning scenery; Montpellier, for its thriving expat community and job opportunities; Bordeaux, for a laid back and relaxed lifestyle; or Pau, thanks to its outdoor vibe and accessibility to activities such as hiking and skiing.
Emigrating to the USA to live the American dream is something that appeals to many UK expats. Home to one of the world’s biggest economies, the USA has one of the largest career markets for professionals looking to progress. By moving to America, UK expats seek to increase their living standard.
Moving to America: UK expat trends
Around 1.3million UK expats live in the USA and Canada, with around 24% of these expats being retired. However, despite America being overly popular with UK expats seeking a better quality of life, we’ve found that it isn’t uncommon for expats to move back before retirement due to healthcare expenses and taxes.
Best places to live in America
Denver is popular for business-minded people. If you’re looking for affordable property, quality of life and tropical weather, Kissimmee in Florida is a worth researching. Of course, we can’t forget New York; the vibrant city that never sleeps, renowned for its stock market and career prospects. San Francisco is also popular thanks to its financial stability, low unemployment rate and high average salary (of around $74,841).
As well as the year-long sunshine, one of the most attractive elements of emigrating to UAE (United Arab Emirates) and Dubai is that all earnings are tax free (make sure your check tax residency to maximise this). Living and working in cities like Dubai is a great way to fast track your career with the vast amount of professional opportunities available. The vibrant business economies are always after English-speaking employees to work in their companies.
Moving to UAE: UK expat trends
There are between 100,000-200,000 UK expats living in UAE. 41% of Brits move there to improve their quality of life. Over the past year or so we’ve been seeing a slight decline in people wanting to move to UAE, mainly because of Brexit uncertainty. In the next year or so, we expect to see a rapid rise of expats looking to move to Dubai and UAE now Brexit is coming to a head.
How to prepare your finances when moving abroad
When emigrating from the UK, you’ll need to transfer your funds into a bank account in the country you’re relocating to. However, this can cost you considerably more than you originally anticipated. Using a high street bank to send your savings abroad to fund your emigration can cost anything from hundreds to thousands of pounds in additional fees.
Foreign exchange providers, such as RationalFX, offer a cost-effective, secure and simple solution to help UK expats to reduce costs and make their money go further. RationalFX offer competitive exchange rates, no hidden fees or charges and a personalised service to ensure expats get the most out of their hard-earned money.
To get in contact with a currency specialist at RationalFX, visit their website here
Wherever you choose to move, make sure you contact Indalo Transport to take care of the very important task of moving your treasured belongings to your chosen new country. With regular trips to and from Europe, and removal trade contacts on every continent, we can help you make your expat dream a reality. Visit our Quote Page now
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