For expats who have chosen to live abroad on a permanent basis, just over seven in ten (71 per cent) feel their work/life balance is good to excellent and an overwhelming 86 per cent believe their standard of living is tops.
In fact, eight out of ten British expats believe they enjoy a better quality of life living abroad according to the sixth annual NatWest International Personal Banking (NatWest IPB) Quality of Life Report.
Australia came out on top as far as British expats happiest with their current standard of life are concerned.
A majority of Brits who have emigrated down under believe they have all that’s needed for a healthier, wealthier and happier life. Over eight in ten Brits in Australia cite the natural environment and quality of life for their children as the number one reason for moving there, while 84 per cent say that the weather is one of the top five reasons for living there and 92 per cent cite the country’s overall lifestyle.
“It seems life down under really is the cream of the crop according to this year’s NatWest IPB Quality of Life Index,” said Dave Isley, Head of NatWest International Personal Banking. “Continual sunshine coupled with a strong economic stability makes Australia the perfect destination for Brits to set up home. Factors such as an efficient health care system, low crime rates, a clean environment, good education, civic engagement, and a longer-than-average life expectancy also factored in the high scoring.”
Australia tops the expat survey, featuring those living in 12 countries, for the first time since 2010. The last two year’s number one ranked country, Canada, was placed second, followed by UAE and South Africa. New Zealand, which was ranked first in 2009, is now fifth.
“The most notable shifts in our Quality of Life results this year is the rise of the UAE as an expat destination,” said Isley. “The once loved traditional expat communities of France, Spain and Portugal are diminishing, with quality of life drastically reducing for expats living there, making way for newcomers such as UAE and Singapore. It seems expats are willing to adjust their lifestyle in exchange for a stronger economy and better job opportunities.”
Falling property prices, austerity measures and fears over job security are prompting 63 per cent of expats in Europe to consider returning to the UK. Expats living in Spain are feeling the pinch the most where unemployment stands at almost 20 per cent. Roughly a third (32 per cent) of respondents in Europe said they were already looking into returning to the UK.
Singapore is increasingly attracting expats particularly those from the UK and Europe. Singapore has built a reputation for offering a good quality of life, as well as a range of interesting career opportunities. Expats living in Singapore have higher average incomes and greater wealth than expats living anywhere else in the world.