Retired British expats leaving the EU

New figures show that the number of retired British expats living in the EU is at its lowest level in five years.

According to the figures, there are 466,920 British expats of retirement age living across Europe, the lowest level in five years. This was a 1,896 fall from the previous year and the second consecutive year that the number has declined.

While Spain is still the preferred destination choice for retired British expats (excluding Ireland), it is also the country that saw the most leave. Some 1,590 retirees left the country between 2018 and 2019 – accounting for 80 per cent of the EU-wide drop during that period.

Officially, Spain is now home to 105,206 UK pensioners, although this is likely much higher as many will not have formalised their residency status.

However, while Spain and some other EU countries have seen an exodus of retired British expats, this was not the case everywhere. Germany saw an increase of 1,408 British expats, while 929 moved to Poland.

Top 5 EU countries for retired British expats

  1. Ireland – 131,790 expats.
  2. Spain – 105,206
  3. France – 66,437
  4. Germany – 42,823
  5. Italy – 34,100

The figures are based on the number of expats claiming a UK state pension in EU countries.

Article published 11th February 2020