There are currently around 5 million Brits happily living abroad in exotic locations from America to Zimbabwe. Destinations come in and out of favour, but some countries remain perennial favourites attracting thousands of Brits year after year.
The most popular countries such as Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada each have their own unique charm and so much to offer expats from good weather and beautiful landscapes to job prospects and a better quality of life. Climate can be a big pull factor, a warmer climate allowing families to have a great outdoors lifestyle.
So which countries draw the most expats and what makes these destinations particularly attractive?
Here is our run down of the top ten relocation destinations for Brits abroad:
For those dreaming of a life in the sun, Australia is an obvious and popular choice. As well as those idyllic images of white sand beaches and chilled out barbeques, Australia also offers stimulating opportunities for ambitious, career minded expats.
Australia has felt the effects of the global recession far less than the US and Europe. Employment remains high and salaries are amongst the most generous in the world according to a recent Forbes report. It is also a safe, politically stable country with little to concern any potential expat.
Yet Australia is a country that likes to play as hard as it works, and with thousands of miles stunning coastline as well as mountains, bushland and even rainforest to explore, who can blame them. There are also buzzing, modern cities with a friendly, English speaking population, happy to embrace new arrivals. So, what are you waiting for? Check out our guide to relocating down under.
A particular favourite for expats looking to spend their retirement in warmer climes, Spain has hundreds of thousands of Brits enjoying life in the sun. With 8,000km of coastline and temperatures remaining between 10 and 28°C all year round, Spain is a beautiful place to enjoy a more relaxed lifestyle.
Spain is also attracting increasing numbers of younger Britons as hip cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia are changing the traditional image of Spanish expat life.
These vibrant urban centers have also stabilised the Spanish economy and the country has weathered the Eurozone crisis far better than it’s Southern European neighbours.
Whether you’re looking for sunshine and sea or cosmopolitan culture and cool nightlife, Spain has it all just a two hour flight away.
For centuries, ambitious, aspirational Britons have journeyed over the Atlantic in search of fame and fortune. From the bright lights of New York City to the sun drenched Californian coast, hundreds of thousands of Brits are living the American dream over the pond.
While much has changed in recent years, America’s position as the world’s largest economy has never faltered. The country offers an excellent standard of living and greater financial freedom than many destinations thanks to its historically low levels of taxation.
While the US is undoubtedly a nation with an exceedingly strong work ethic, Americans definitely know how to make the most of their time off. From the Rocky Mountains and Yosemite National Park to Malibu Beach and Key West, there is so much beautiful landscape to explore, not to mention fascinating and cosmopolitan cities such as San Francisco, LA and Washington. If you’d like to find out more, have a look at these first hand stories of expats enjoying life in the US.
The USA’s northern neighbour is also attracting thousands of Britons every year. Close to 700,000 UK expats are currently living in Canada and enjoying the benefits of life in the Great White North. Glittering, modern cities flourish amongst thousands of miles spectacular wilderness making Canada one of the most diverse countries in the world.
Canada is the second largest country in the world by size and boasts an equally impressive economy.
Naturally, the strong economy is reflected in the country’s enviable infrastructure, education programme and health system all of which are accessible to all residents. There are also excellent career prospects with cities such as Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver home to many global headquarters of world-renowned companies.
With over 250,000 new arrivals every year, Canada has become adept at not only attracting the best expats, but also ensuring they settle and succeed in their new home. For more information about how you could become one of those expats flourishing in Canada, click here for our destination guide.
Whether it is the considerably superior climate or simply its proximity, France has long attracted British expats. From the culture and fashion of Paris to the beautiful countryside of Provence and the southern coast, our close neighbour offers a relaxed yet rewarding lifestyle just a short flight or train ride from the UK.
There are still reasonable job prospects and although taxation is generally higher than the UK, this is offset by the relatively low cost of housing and other essentials.
If you’re considering retiring to France, you are still entitled to your full UK state pension including any annual increases. Whatever your situation, France has so much to offer. To see how we can help get you there, check out our removals services to France.
Just a short flight or boat ride away, Ireland is our nearest neighbour and understandably popular with British expats. Despite its proximity, Ireland remains culturally and geographically distinct with its own language, sports and traditions. There are also miles of beautiful, rugged countryside to explore from the wild west coast to the dramatic mountains of County Wicklow.
While difficulties in the Eurozone may have dulled the Celtic Tiger’s roar, Ireland still offers a stable economy and buoyant jobs market. Cities such as Dublin and Cork offer excellent opportunities, world-class food and drink as well as the famously good craic.
7. New Zealand
Stunning scenery, modern, green cities and a welcoming, English speaking population; New Zealand is enticing prospect for any would-be expat. On top of these obvious perks, New Zealand is also actively seeking skilled expats and offering short or long-term visas to anyone qualified to work in particular sectors.
If you’re seeking a better standard of living, New Zealand was recently ranked first for quality of life in an expat survey. With plenty of space, rolling hills and vibrant yet relaxed urban areas, it is no surprise that hundreds of thousands of Brits have made New Zealand home.
8. South Africa
South Africa is luring thousands of expats every year with the enticing prospect of sun, beaches and a better life for less. Flourishing cities like Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg also offer an increasingly cosmopolitan lifestyle and excellent employment opportunities for career-minded expats.
Many large global companies choose South Africa for their continental headquarters, demonstrating the countries importance on the world stage.
Housing and other costs of living are substantially lower and can leave you with disposable income to enjoy. With stunning National Parks, wildlife reserves and beautiful beaches to visit, there is plenty to do with that extra time and money. To find out more, check out our guide to expat life in South Africa.
Germany is not only one of the strongest and most resilient economies in the EU but also a genuinely enjoyable and rewarding place to work. A recent survey voted Germany one of the best countries in the world to achieve career satisfaction. Yet there is far more to this practical, forward thinking nation than traditional German efficiency.
From the Bavarian mountains to the beautiful banks of the river Rhine, Germany has miles of spectacular scenery, not to mention vibrant, exciting cities such as Berlin, Munich and Hamburg.
With transport, healthcare and education systems that are the envy of many of its European neighbours, you can rest assured that every day services exceed your expectations.
With expats far outnumbering Emiratis, the UAE is a country well used to welcoming new arrivals. With enticing job opportunities, there are increasing numbers British expats arriving in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. Outside of work, there are ever more forums, clubs and events to help immigrants settle and make new friends, so you’re sure of a busy social life.
The UAE offers every comfort you could wish for, from high end shopping and dining to stunning beaches and surprisingly diverse nightlife.
There are also world class private international schools and healthcare services making the UAE one of most stress-free places to live as an expat, securing its place as one of our top ten expat destinations.