Most popular destinations for British expats

TransferWise content team
26.10.15
4 minute read

Sadly, Britain’s signature wet weather (and our penchant for talking about it) isn't everyone’s cup of tea. Fear not, there is a whole world outside Blighty. We’ve put together a quick list of the most popular destinations for Brits moving abroad.


1. Australia (1,300,000 Brits)

Home of The Sydney Opera House, the Didgeridoo and Harold Bishop.

Australia has long been a favoured escape route for Brits. Ignoring that Australia is home to approximately 100 venomous snakes, we like to focus on how the weather couldn’t be more different from our own. Only Antarctica has less rain, who knew? Apparently 82% of Brits who live there say they enjoy a better environment and quality of life for their children. Read our guide to moving to Australia.


2. Spain (761,000 Brits)

A little closer to home and with an average temperature of 14C, compared to the UK’s 8.5C.

The Spanish do several things well: eating, drinking and sleeping. Ever feel like you’re nodding off at your desk after lunch? Have a seista. As a result, Spaniards are always ready to party - only Cyprus has more bars per inhabitant.

It might be worth noting that finding a job in Spain can be tricky – unemployment in Spain in 2013 was higher than the US during the Great Depression. But, if you can land yourself a job, you could be very contento there. You can also read our guide to moving to Spain.


3. US (678,000 Brits)

This land of opportunity has lots of, well, opportunity.

The US remains the worlds largest economy. A highlight of the country is it’s diversity – within one country there are amazing beaches, mountains, lakes, deserts, forests… something for everyone. And Americans love a British accent, which is great as long as you don’t mind repeating words so your accent can be ‘appreciated’! Read our guide on moving to the USA!


4. Canada (603,000 Brits)

Vibrant cities nestled into the country’s stunning landscape, and some of world’s cleanest air. Just don’t forget that their lowest recorded temperature is down at -63C. Ouch.

Canada offers free healthcare and education programmes, which might make you feel a bit more at home, coming from the UK. And Canadians are happy to share, with the country having one of the most positive immigration policies in the world, welcoming over 200,000 immigrants each year. Need further convincing? Canada consumes more macaroni and cheese than any other country in the world. See you there.


5. Ireland (291,000 Brits)

Our neighbour features breath-taking scenery, a relaxed lifestyle, and lively culture.

Ireland attracts many of the largest companies in the world with Google, Facebook, Apple and Twitter all with European Headquarters in Dublin. And when you’re finished at work, you can head down to one of the many, many charming pubs.

It’s also near enough that you can pop back when you’re missing home. On the flipside, the Emerald Isle didn’t get its name from its bright sunshine and blue skies. If you do decide to make the move, be sure to take your brolly!


6. New Zealand (215,000 Brits)

A recent survey revealed British expats in New Zealand to be the happiest of any Brits living abroad.

Those who responded to the survey cited the beautiful natural environment, a more favourable tax system, a healthy lifestyle and low property prices. Moving to New Zealand with family is especially popular with expats who are looking for a better balance between work and life.

Expats who commit to their new home and are suited to the laid-back, outdoors lifestyle it offers will find that New Zealand has the potential to be an ideal expat destination. Read our guide to moving to New Zealand.


7. South Africa (212,000 Brits)

Johannesburg and Cape Town are the rainbow nation's most popular destinations.

South Africa boasts a warm climate, a relatively low cost of living, amazing beaches and some of the best wildlife and game parks in the world. In fact, South Africa has the third highest level of biodiversity in the world. If lions and hippos aren’t you’re thing, there’s plenty more on offer: South Africa is one of the best places for outdoor activities, ranging from shark diving to paragliding. And you can find comfort in the fact that the country is home to the oldest wine industry outside of Europe.


8. France (200,000 Brits)

Being in the EU and so close to the UK, a move to France is usually sans complications for Brits.

France has affordable healthcare and education systems, and the government offers family benefits such as tax breaks and discounted transport to families with more than one child. The French take their work-life balance seriously too. In 1998, a law was passed to make a 35-hour working week with any hours above this counted as over-time. French workers also receive the most statutory paid holiday in the world. There are over 350 cheeses made in France and 17 wine regions. And you can pick up a decent bottle of wine for less than a fiver. What’s not to love? For our complete guide to starting a new life abroad, click here.
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