A United Nations research report which has been published recently has noted that British citizens re one of the largest groups of expats in the world. Approximately 5 million Brits live abroad at the moment, which is around 8% of the total population of the UK. The report also stated that there are over 230 million people in the world living in a country that they were not born in, this equates to over 3% of the total world population.
This figure has increased over the last 14 years from 154 million. The reasons cited by the UN for the increase in global migration include lower air travel costs, the opening up of international borders, globalisation and the search for work, particularly after the global recession.
The majority of the 5 million British expats live in Australia (25%). Large populations of British expats also live in New Zealand, Canada, USA, South Africa and European countries such as Spain, Germany, Ireland and France.
A recent trend for emigration from the UK includes a move towards emigration to Eastern European countries, due to the expansion of the EU.
The report outlines the top migrant destinations in the world which are:
- USA (approx 46 million migrants)
- Russia (approx 11 million)
- Germany (approx 10 million)
- Saudi Arabia (approx. 9 million)
- UAE (approx 8 million) and the UK (approx 8 million)
Other countries in the top ten migrant receiving nations include France, Australia and Spain.
A further interesting statistic is that almost ¾ of migrants are of working age (i.e. aged between 20 – 64).
The ‘Mobility and Migration’ report published in 2010 by the Human Development Report Office (as part of the United Nations Development Programme) outlines that mobility and international movement is a fundamental human right.