British expat diaspora spreads across half the world

British expat diaspora spreads across half the world

British expat diaspora spreads across half the world

It may come as a surprise that about one in every 10 of Britain’s population are living overseas.

At the present time, over 5.5 million Britons are living overseas, with a further 2,000 leaving every week of the year. The information was derived from data collected in a survey undertaken by the Institute for Public Policy Research as part of a project entitled Brits Abroad. In addition to those British citizens who’ve permanently emigrated, another 500,000 Brits are living overseas for at least part of the year.

The top destinations for Brits fleeing the UK are North America and Australia, with the first destination suggesting that expat career motivation was the reason and the second implying that retirement was the spur for leaving. Nowadays, some 40 world countries are home to 10,000 or more UK expatriates each, and another 118 states are sheltering Brits within their borders. Of these impressive totals, many will return to the UK once their contracts end, but those working in Dubai may well decide to stay due to its vibrant lifestyle.

It’s no surprise that Spain is the second most popular expat destination for British citizens, with at least 671,000 living in the country to date. Canada is a home from home for around 600,000 expatriates, and Ireland holds just under 300,000 Brits, many of Irish descent. Some two-thirds of Britons leave the UK in search of suitable employment, with many being highly-skilled professionals who’re replaced by suitably skilled workers from overseas.

Although the Gulf States are considered as the best places by many Brits, with Dubai the all-time favourite, their job opportunities are mainly limited to those in either the oil and gas or financial sectors. The majority of British state pensioners living overseas have chosen destinations where the cost of living makes their ungenerous state payments viable, thus restricting their choices to countries they might not have considered had they had private pensions as a top-up. All in all, the wish for Brits to up sticks and leave is likely to grow stronger over the upcoming finality of Brexit and the expected coronavirus-spawned recession.

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