A Home Office report suggests that a total of 4.7 million Brits are now living abroad. The most popular destinations are Australia, the USA and Spain but what are the main reasons for moving abroad?
They used the results to compile a 'Happiness Index'. 70% of respondents said they were happy with their new life abroad, although 23% admitted to missing fish and chips with the same number pining for 'a proper pint of beer'.
So, what made these expats give up these creature comforts? Here we look at the top five reasons for moving abroad.
1. Quality of life
Quality of life can incorporate a number of different factors. In a poll conducted by Huddersfield University, the weather was named as the number one reason to leave the UK with 59% citing the British climate as a turn-off.
Not everyone follows the sun however and other reasons include crime levels and feelings of safety, economic opportunities and a sense of community.
The poll found that 85% of families wanted their children to grow up “with a stronger sense of community” than they believe exists in the UK.
Many pensioners and people approaching retirement age dream of retiring abroad. The Home Office suggests that between 4,000 and 8,000 British pensioners retire overseas every year; although this figure has fallen considerably from a peak of 22,000 in 2006.
3. New experiences
The opportunity to visit new places and experience different cultures is another oft-cited reason to leave. Emigrating is not the same as an extended holiday. The bills still have to be paid and the day-to-day stresses of life still exist but there are also opportunities to taste new life experiences that many people find invigorating.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), 56% of the total emigrants leaving the country in 2011 did so for work-related reasons. Of these, 64% left for a definite job with the remainder leaving in order to look for work or improve their career prospects.
5. Accompanying a partner
Accompanying a partner scored highly in the Post Office survey's reasons for moving abroad. Often this will also involve one partner moving for work and the other moving to join them so as not to live apart.
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