Expats in Canadian are the happiest, those in China least

According to a survey recently conducted by visa application site Global Visas, British expats living in Canada are the happiest with their move overseas while those who move to China are the least.

The survey asked 1,632 UK expats aged 18 and over how happy they were with their choice of new country. The main question posed was ‘Are you enjoying your new life abroad?’, but they were also asked to state whether they were happy or unhappy with their choice.

Nine out of ten expats living in Canada said that they were happy with their emigration location, citing the better standard of living as the biggest reason for their positive attitude. Conversely, only 44% of expats living in China said their relocation had made them happy, citing cultural differences as the biggest cause of dissatisfaction with the country.

The top five destinations for happy expats saw Canada in first place, with 87% of expats classing themselves as happy. Second was Australia with a happy 82%, Norway was third with 80%, Dubai was fourth with 78% and in fifth spot was New Zealand with 77%.

China topped the unhappiness table, with 56% of expats saying they weren’t happy there. Greece came second with 53% citing the nation’s recent economic troubles as the main cause. Spain was in third with 49% while Russia was fourth with 48%. Argentina was fifth with 44% of expats unhappy with their host nation.

‘There’s often a cultural shock when moving abroad, but in the majority of cases this fades over time and things get easier. However, in some instances, it might be the case that the lack of assimilation in a new life can cause loneliness, which can only lead to further problems. In this case people should embrace the expat community. You might feel alone, but more often than not, this isn’t the case,’ said Liam Clifford of Global Visas.

Respondents that had expressed a level of unhappiness were also asked what the main causes were. Answers revealed cultural differences as an issue for 52% followed by loneliness for 47%, and economic woes for 42%.

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