By JR on Wednesday, October 26, 2011
If homesickness is the curse of life as an expat, then millions of Britons abroad are bearing up manfully. As Britain’s economy continues to stall and the country recovers from the summer riots, hundreds of thousands have decided to scrap plans to come home.
Of the 5.5million Brits living abroad, 69 per cent say they will stay away from Britain permanently – an increase of 13 per cent in the past year – as the UK is now ‘more expensive, less safe and offers a lower quality of life’.
More than two thirds of expats, 3.74million, say they are happier living abroad, with 825,000 having cancelled their plans to come back during the last 12 months, according to research.
Seventy four per cent of expats say their quality of life is better abroad, 64 per cent say they are wealthier and 52 per cent say their cost of living is lower, a study for Lloyds TSB International found.
And 51 per cent think their country of residence is a better place to raise children.
Furthermore, many believe that living abroad is beneficial for their children as it offers the experience of another culture while learning a language.
Tony Wilcox of Lloyds TSB said: ‘Expats have an enlightening view of the UK, having experienced life both home and away. ‘So it is worrying that life in Britain appears so bleak when viewed through their eyes.
I think their happiness with life overseas also reflects that large groups of people in the UK are gradually becoming more outward-looking with increased global travel, more international business and generally coming into contact with other cultures.
‘It has become easier and a more natural transition than it would have been 20, even ten, years ago.’
The top ten expat destinations are Australia, Spain, U.S., Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.