USA and UK now far from being expat favourites

USA and UK now far from being expat favourites

USA and UK now far from being expat favourites

The UK and the USA are no longer expat favourites due mostly to the Brexit vote and the Trump presidency.

The 50-million plus expats scattered across the world comprise professionals, specialists, retirees, digital nomads, those who simply want to build their own futures away from their countries of birth, and those who need to support their families by taking a better-paying job overseas. Every expat living outside the home country has different experiences, changing along with the country of residence and either adjusting or leaving. Expat surveys are ridiculed by many, but give a glimpse of how world events are shaping not just countries but also individual lives.

The latest InterNations Expat Insider study revealed what many had suspected – that the all-time favourite expat destinations of the UK and USA aren’t as popular as they were prior to the Brexit referendum and the election of Donald Trump. Rankings for both countries haven’t just slipped – they’ve crashed in both cases. In 2014, the USA was the fifth best country for expatriate professionals with or without their families, but by this year was ranked 43rd out of the 65 countries surveyed. Britain was 21st in 2014 and now sits at 54th – a fall of 33 places. Both countries saw record drops, indicating expats are far less than happy about spending their time and talent in locations which seem to be shooting themselves firmly in the foot.

In the case of the USA, it’s hardly surprising that unpredictable politics was the main reason for avoiding having to work there, with only 36 per cent of those polled feeling positive about Trump and his gang. Secondly and importantly, the appallingly high cost of medical treatment as well as its overall poor quality isn’t attractive to expats, especially those who’ve their families in tow. Some 72 per cent were far less than impressed, with one third saying it’s simply awful. Family expatriation also took a hit as regards childcare, considered far too expensive by 75 per cent of expat parents.

As regards the UK, politics again took the top spot as being totally undesirable, a threat to jobs and the economy and an unsteady farce at best. Less than half of those surveyed were positive on this sector. The sterling crash and the belief it’ll just get worse took the UK to an all-time low, with two- thirds considering typical costs were far too high and some even stating their disposable income just isn’t enough to get by. The cost of accommodation was also in the firing line, as was the cost and accessibility of childcare. In both cases, even setting politics aside, the gilt is definitely off the gingerbread for the two countries which once had the most to offer for expats.

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