UK Expats Happiest In Australia

By Dex Tennyson, for 07 October, 2014

Australia remains the most popular destination for UK expats, according to a new survey from Natwest, a bank. Far East locations are growing in popularity, however, and fewer British expats report wanting to live in Europe.

Nine out of ten expats surveyed for the 2014 NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index said that their quality of life had improved since moving to Australia. Over two-thirds of respondents in Australia said they are now wealthier, while 82 percent of parents reported that Australia had offered a better quality of life for their children.

There was a 30 percent decline in the number of UK expats moving to Western European countries during the past six years, and just under two-thirds of UK expats in Europe said they are thinking of returning home. Portugal has slipped from 3rd place in 2008 to 12th in 2014, while Spain declined from 7th to 11th.

The latest survey also found increasing enthusiasm from prospective expats keen on relocating to either China, Singapore, or Hong Kong. Singapore entered the rankings in 11th in 2009 and is now in 4th place, while China has surged from 11th place last year to 5th this year. Half of the British expats surveyed in China said that their work-life balance had improved since moving.

Singapore, meanwhile, scores low on work-life balance and job security, but scored highly for quality of childcare and education, although these services are said to be relatively expensive. Hong Kong was ranked highly due to its low taxes, good public transport, and widespread use of English. Hong Kong-based expats, however, complained that the territory is overcrowded, with high levels of pollution, and a shortage of international schools.

Dave Isley, the Head of NatWest International Personal Banking, said: "With the heyday of Europe seemingly forgotten, the Far East has tempted many expats to dip their toes into a different life, one they appear to be reaping the benefits of. Better career prospects and higher wages are enjoyed by many in China, Singapore, and Hong Kong, which has lifted these countries up the league table."

Tags: Environment | Western Europe | Tax | Portugal | Australia | China | Singapore | Education | Hong Kong | Spain | Employment | Expats | Working Abroad | Welfare | Europe | Work | Working Abroad | Lifestyle | Lifestyle | Working Abroad |


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