Spain Most Popular Destination For UK’s 0.8m Expats In EU, But Australia and New Zealand Attract Majority of Brits Living Abroad

When it comes to relocating abroad, British citizens certainly seem to know what they like, and stick to it, if data released by the Office for National Statistics last week is to be believed.

Within the EU, expat Brits overwhelmingly plump for 3 familiar countries; Spain, France, and Germany. The countries are home to 69% of all expat Brits within the EU. Of the three countries, Spain is comfortably the most popular, attracting just under 0.8m people from the UK. In reality, the number of Brits living in Spain is likely considerably higher, as many Brits divide their time between Spain and the UK, often due to work matters, or through ownership of a second home in Spain.

In June 2015, the data reveals, British citizens made 729,000 journeys to other EU countries of between 1-12 months in duration. 87% were for “Other” reasons, which include holidays and travelling; visiting or accompanying family and friends; working holidays; medical treatment; and religious pilgrimage.

37%, or 239,000 British Expats in the EU live in Spain, 19% in France, and 12% in Germany. The next largest proportion live in The Netherlands – just under 50,000. 66% of expats living in the EU are of working age, whilst 18% are aged over 65, which closely mirrors the proportions within the UK.

Spain is home to a larger proportion; 41%; of expats above the retirement age, whilst more British children; just over 20,000; live in France than in any other EU country. The largest proportion of working age Brits abroad can be found in Finland and the Czech Republic.

Southern Hemisphere Still Most Attractive To Expats

Europe, despite the allure of retirement communities in Spain, education in France, and work and lifestyle opportunities in Germany, still comes a distant third in terms of popularity with Brits looking to emigrate.

Australia and New Zealand play host to 33% of all UK-born emigrants, perhaps attracted by the lack of a language barrier, the outdoorsy culture, presence of extended family and wealth of work opportunities. Similarly, the USA and Canada are next on the preferred destination list, with 15% choosing the USA and 13% opting for Canada.

(Slightly) More Working Men Than Women Emigrate to EU

The split is close, with 53% of all British expats working abroad male, and 47% female. In Lithuania, Estonia, Finland and Latvia, an astonishing 80%+ of working British expats are male, whilst in Greece, Italy, Cyprus and Malta, there are more British women than men. Since women tend to have longer lifespans than men, however, it is not uncommon to find more women than men in many retirement communities abroad.

How To Get The Best Deal When Sending Or Receiving Money Abroad

One major concern for anyone relocating abroad is how to handle finances whilst overseas. Is it best to open a bank account abroad, use a credit or debit card, or a high street Money Transfer Operator.

At The Money Cloud, as well as providing personalised advice via our blog sections for Expats, travellers, and property buyers overseas, we also provide the best up to date quotes on international money transfers offered by experienced, FCA authorised brokers. If you are concerned you may not be getting the best deal and are losing valuable income to unnecessary fees and unreasonable exchange rates, try our price comparison service, pick your preferred broker, and speak with an FX expert who can give you the best advice about long and short term exchange rate fluctuations, how to spot a money-saving opportunity, and how to avoid those unnecessary fees and charges.