According to a new research report published by market research consultants Finaccord, the UK ‘exports’ nearly as many expatriates of its own as it ‘imports’ from other countries.
Defining expatriates as individuals who establish their residence in the territory of another country for a temporary period that is, or is expected to be, of at least 12 months and a maximum of five years,Finaccord calculated that there were around 1.16 million UK expats living in other countries in 2013.
The research found that 58.3 per cent of British expats residing abroad are classified as individual workers, while 23.5 per cent are retirees, 4.6 per cent as students and 4.0 per cent as corporate transferees. The remaining 5.1 per cent are made up of non-employed spouses and children.
“Global mobility has increased significantly over the past decade and expatriates constitute a large and diverse market,” comments Tobias Schneider, a Consultant at Finaccord.“With regards to the UK, our research establishes a number of facts, some of which often risk getting lost amid politically-motivated debate about immigration. These include: that the UK is probably the most open country in the world in terms of flows both in and out; that the UK is the largest ‘exporter’ of expatriates in the EU and one of the largest in the world; and that other major western European countries – France, Germany, Italy and Spain – all ‘import’ a lot more expatriates than they ‘export’.”
The most popular destination for British expats in 2013 was found to be Australia, followedSpain and the UAE – specifically Dubai.
“By 2017, Finaccord forecasts that UK expatriates abroad will number approximately 1.21 million,” concludes Schneider.