A recent study performed by the Centre for Future Studies looked to find what the top countries in the world are for British expats to enjoy the most from life. Not surprisingly, Australia came out on top and has been a long time destination for expats. Over 90% of respondents to a survey of British expats living in Australia reported a significantly improved quality of life.
The majority of respondents reported that they were wealthier in Australia with more disposable income to spend on their hobbies and on holiday. They also reported having more confidence in the state of the Australian economy and those looking for work found their job prospects to be better in Australia than in the UK.
Expats living in Australia also reported that they felt healthier in Australia with better environmental quality and better weather. They felt that that the weather in Australia was better and promoted an active lifestyle, which improved their physical and mental health. They felt that healthcare in Australia was as good or better than in the UK.
Other top contenders for best places to live for British Expats are found in Asia. Singapore, Hong Kong, and China have become increasingly popular in recent years. Nearly 75% of expats in China reported moving there for better job prospects and almost all of those reported much higher earnings than in the UK. Roughly half said that their work life balance was improved in China and about the same percentage said they felt public transit in China was a major draw.
In Singapore expats reported a poor life balance but reported that it is an excellent place to have children with high quality childcare and schooling. They also reported that they worried about pollution and job security and said that the weather was not a draw.
Hong Kong has long been a destination for British Expats with strong banking, finance, and manufacturing businesses. They reported that low taxes, great public transportation, and excellent but expensive schools were major factors in their decision to move. The widespread use of English in the area helped make the move much less intimidating.
Many expats are moving to the United Arab Emirates for a variety of reasons. The top reason is that most British expats report a very high disposable income and a very good work environment. Over 80 percent of respondents stated they felt very confident about their job prospects in the UAE but about the same percentage said it was difficult to make friends and integrate into the community.
The overarching theme of recent studies on British expats is that they are feeling the crunch of austerity in Europe and rather than move to France or Germany for work they’re increasingly looking to Asia. With numerous flight options available for reasonable prices they feel they can make the move full time but know they can return back home to see family and friends fairly easily.
The top 10 countries for British Expats, as taken from a handful of recent rankings, are:
6. New Zealand
7. South Africa
8. Hong Kong