Thursday 26th January 2012

British expats love Spain

A recent survey by Lloyds TSB International has revealed that British expatriates are happiest in Spain, followed by Canada and Germany.

The survey, which examined the levels of happiness, quality of life, cost of living and financial well being of British expatriates throughout the world, found that it was Spain that ranked the highest overall in terms of expat happiness, with 75.9% of those surveyed claiming that they were happy living there than they were in their home country. Germany followed behind with 71% of expats in the region saying that they were happier there than they were in the UK.

New Zealand was ranked the highest in terms of expat destinations for British citizens who were seeking a better quality of life, with 79% of those surveyed claiming that they had a better quality of life there than they did at home, followed by 77% of Australian expats. However, despite the high quality of life on offer in the Antipodes, expatriates living here are apparently not as happy as those living in Spain, with 64.7% of expats in Australia and only 50% in New Zealand saying they were happier than in the UK. This may potentially be due to the cost of living in Australasia, with only 35% of those in Australia and 29% in New Zealand saying their living costs are lower than in the UK.

The United Arab Emirates scored the highest for expat financial prospects, with 95% of those surveyed revealing that they are financially better off in their host country than they would be if they remained in the UK. However, despite the opportunity to earn high amounts of money, many expatriates living in the UAE believe that the cost of living in the region is much higher than it is at home.

Discussing the survey, Nicholas Boys Smith of Lloyds TSB International commented: “Much has been made of the gloomy economic outlook in Spain and the government’s austerity programme, but despite this stream of bad news, British expats think their financial prospects are better there than in the UK. But more importantly, it seems a good quality of life, perhaps including the sunny weather and the laidback Mediterranean lifestyle, are contributing to Spain’s place as number one for general happiness.

“These findings show that there is a real variety of decisions to be made when choosing where to emigrate. Expats who choose a country solely based on financial prospects may find they compromise on quality of life, or vice versa. Happiness is influenced by many different factors, which need to be considered together. For example New Zealand was thought to have the best quality of life, but actually ranked lowest for overall happiness.”

Research findings were based on a Lloyds TSB survey in which over 1,000 British citizens living in the 10 popular expatriate destinations were asked to rate their experiences according to a number of factors, including happiness, quality of life, cost of living and financial stability.

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