British Favourite Expat Destination Spain becomes World’s 7th Best


British Favourite Expat Destination Spain becomes World’s 7th Best

It has long been established that the British expats favour sun-kissed Spain as the ultimate destination, but a recent study has revealed that the castanets call further afield as Spain ranks as the world’s 7th best.

A survey by networking community InterNations has shown Spain to be 7th in the world rankings according to criteria including quality of life, ease of settling in, finance and work-life balance. This is perhaps linked to the Spaniards tradition of the siesta which, according to a report from the Spanish Society of Primary Care Physicians (SEMERGEN), can reduce stress, help cardiovascular functions and improve alertness and memory.

In the InterNations report Spain scored highly on factors such as personal safety and political stability.

The Spanish seem to be the most welcoming community according to the report which showed 82% positivity. Only 5% of expats reported an unfriendly attitude which is far below the global average of 13%.

The country’s medical care and infrastructure for transport and travel were rated highly but unfortunately Spain ranked in the bottom five globally for expat earnings when compared with previous income. In terms of working abroad Spain was ranked at a disappointing 55th out of 61, which indicates that the country makes a better destination for retirement rather than for a working-life.

However, family friendliness scored highly with only 1% of respondents reporting an unfriendly attitude towards families with children. Critically, for those wishing to move a young family, only 2% of participants viewed the state of children’s health and safety to be in danger. According to InterNations, ‘this deviates heavily from the 11% of respondents globally who believe this to be the case in their countries of residence’.

Overall, an impressive 45% of expats in Spain said that they were satisfied with life.

Things to Know before you Go

European Union residents do not require a visa to move to Spain permanently, but within three months of arrival you should secure Número de Identidad de Extranjero (a foreign identity number known as NIE) and a Tarjeta de Residencia or residency card.

Non-residents pay tax on any income arising in Spain – business dividend, bank interest, wages or property income. Most income tax ranges from 28%-45%.

Economically Spain is struggling so it may be prudent to make sure you have either a solid income or plenty of savings before moving. Very cheap housing is certainly an upside, however, and may combat the likely fall in earnings.

If you spend longer than six months of the year in Spain with a foreign driving licence, Spanish law dictates that you must register your vehicle with the Spanish authorities.

Laura Barrett
This post was written by
Laura moved from the US to the UK several years ago. As a corporate sales executive for a leading foreign exchange company, Laura has expert knowledge of currency movements and market trends and is able to offer specialist guidance regarding making a trade at the most lucrative time and protecting transactions from currency risk.