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8 out of 10 British Expats happy with new life abroad

A survey published this month from Natwest International Personal Banking has demonstrated some positive results for British expats living overseas. The 6th annual IPB Quality of Life Report has shown that 80% of British Expats said that they enjoy a better quality of life abroad. This is a really high score and will be encouraging to anyone currently planning their relocation.


IPB Quality of Life Index
The Nat West IPB Quality of Life Index is as follows:

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. UAE
  4. South Africa
  5. New Zealand
  6. USA
  7. Singapore
  8. France
  9. Spain
  10. Portugal
  11. China
  12. Hong Kong
  13. Australia


Australia scored the top ranking in terms of Quality of Life. It has been in the top 3 for the last 6 years and was previously number 1 in 2010.

In addition, 7 out of 10 people surveyed said that their health has improved since moving to Australia. It is not surprising why as the Australian outdoors culture and lifestyle  lends itself very well to sports and healthy outdoor pursuits such as walking. The sunshine and climate in Australia means that year round there are many opportunities for outdoor activities.

The outdoors lifestyle has a beneficial effect on the lives of children also. Over 80% said that their number one reason for moving Down Under was the overall natural environment of the country and their children’s quality of life.

According to the report, Brisbane is now becoming particularly popular for British expatriates and their families, replacing Perth as the number one British migrant location.


The UAE is ranked in the top 5 countries for Quality of Life for the first time in the survey’s 6 year history.

The UAE has experienced increased British migration here recently.  The majority of British expats here are on temporary assignments. This is an interesting trend away from the traditional British expat route of Commonwealth countries to new destinations.  For the UAE, this business hub attracts talented professional workers who are keen to expand their horizons and career prospects. The tax benefits of this location are also a draw for this location.  Other temporary assignment hot spots include Hong Kong, Singapore and China.

Work / Life Balance

The Nat West IPB Quality of Life Report also showed that 71% rated work / life balance as good to excellent since moving overseas.

Social Media and Technology

The report highlighted that social media makes living abroad and keeping in touch with friends and family much easier than in the past. There is no doubt that Skype, Facetime and other video call services can mean talking to relatives and friends back home is now much cheaper and easier.

Technology has also enabled people to watch British TV abroad which is often cited in expat surveys as something that the British miss about living abroad.

In the publication, 79% said that they feel social media apps have improved their quality of life.   A main benefit is that it is now much easier to get support from friends and family back home. The majority of expats surveyed own three or more personal technology devices for example, a smartphone, a tablet and a laptop. All of these devices have the advantage of allowing people to keep in touch on the go which can help migrants to feel less isolated when moving abroad. The social networks which are most popular with British expats are 1) Facebook 2) Twitter 3) Google Plus 4) Flickr and 5) Linked In. With regards to this finding, Dave Isley, Head of Nat West International Personal Banking, commented:

Essentially, personal technology means that the majority of British Expats are now enjoying a better quality of life than previous generations who couldn’t benefit from this advantage 20 years ago.


Centre for Future Studies.

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