Is emigration on the decline?

The Economic pain in Spain keeps the Brits off the planes.

Spain and other European destinations have been in the news lately for all the wrong reasons, and anyone thinking of emigrating would have to think twice before choosing to settle on the continent. Since 1998 the number of people leaving the UK grew as more and more people moved abroad to start a new life for themselves. Some of those moved to find a new life in the sunshine or to escape from the ills they saw in British society.

The signing of the treaty of Amsterdam in 1997 opened up the UK and other EU member countries borders, allowing the unlimited movement of EU citizens from one state to another. This led to a huge influx of European immigrants flooding into the UK, which some commentators have said is one of the main reasons why Brits packed their bags and looked for a new home abroad.

In the ten year period between 1998 to 2008 emigration from the UK was climbing steadily. Then the global debt crisis hit.

From that moment on the numbers of UK people emigrating began to drop. As the crisis spread around the world, places that had once boasted a healthy job market now found themselves with high levels of unemployment.

The financial situation in the EU has impacted severely on the appeal of Spain and France as potential places to emigrate too. Their popularity has dropped as their economic problems have gotten worse. Spain is facing an unemployment crisis with 23% of the population out of work. France has 10%. The lack of work and the declining trend of Brits retiring abroad have seen the numbers of British emigrants drop steadily over the last five years.

According to the office of national statistics Spain saw a massive reduction of 78% in British immigrant numbers from 2006 to 2010.

The top destination for British migrants over the last 5 years is Australia which remains the favourite, but the land down under has also seen a decline of 43% in the number of immigrants.

The economic pain has affected every corner of the world and the search for jobs has become the number reason why people look to move abroad. A greater proportion of emigrants are of working age with their numbers increasing to 93% compared with 86% in 2005.

Until the situation in Europe improves it’s a good bet that Spain and France will remain as a place for job seekers to avoid.

The Expat Hub
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