The most popular destinations for Expats

The most popular destinations for Expats

With the dark winter drawing in, the seemingly never ending rain, and an economy stuck in the doldrums  it’s no surprise that many Brits look abroad to sunnier climes to start a new life.

New research from the Office of national statistics (ONS) and published by the Home office shows that the search for work was the main reason Brits set their sights abroad. In 2011 up to 149,000 UK citizens left the country with most of those of working age.

The international Passenger survey (IPS) from the ONS that tracks migration from the UK and the reasons for it showed that up to 50,000 emigrants  left for a definite job overseas whilst 30,000 went in search of employment. The figures do not take into account the expats that spend half the year in the UK and the other half abroad.

According to past research papers compiled by the IPS the most popular destination for expats has varied over the past twenty years. In 2000-01 the top destination s included Japan and the Netherlands, in 2009-10 Switzerland and Belgium entered the list. Surprisingly it isn’t the weather that is the most likely cause for the changes according to the IPS; instead it is the state of a country’s economy and labour market that attracts expats.

The Home Office believes that there are up to 4.7 million UK citizens living abroad with up to 6,000 retirees leaving every year. For the past two years the top ten most popular destinations hasn’t changed, so if you’re considering starting a new life abroad to leave the floods and economic woes behind you then there is a good chance you will end up in one of them.

 The top ten destinations for UK expats

1.Australia 1,062,000  (251,000) 6. France 253,000 (57,000)
2. USA 829,000  (140,000) 7. New Zealand  248,000  (54,000)
3. Spain 808,000 (104,000) 8. South Africa  219,000  (38,000)
4. Canada 608,000 (157,000) 9. Germany  97,000 (39,000)
5. Ireland 289,000 (126,000) 10. UAE 65,000 (680)

*Table shows numbers of expats in each country, and in brackets the number of pensioners

Source: IPPR, DWP.

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