Where Do UK Expats Live?

NathalieM By NathalieM, 19th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/asze3pac/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Other

Thousands of people immigrate from the UK each year. Who are they? And where are they going? Here we'll be looking at the current state of Britons around the world.


We’ve all thought about it at some point. It could be somewhere you’ve been many times before, or somewhere you’ve only seen pictures of; either way, when you get the itch to experience something different, there can be no stemming it. We may love living in the UK sometimes, but other times we yearn for something different, whether it’s hotter weather or a higher quality of living, or simply a different pace of life.

So when someone in the UK feels this way, where are they most likely to go? It may surprise you, but the list of most popular countries really hasn’t changed in the last two decades. UK expats know what they want, and an average of 300,000 leave the misty shores of Britain each year to seek greener pastures. Who are they? And more importantly, where exactly are they all going?


Australia is consistently the most popular country for UK expats to settle in. There’s plenty of obvious reasons for this; we speak the same language and have a closely intertwined shared history, the weather is better, there’ more space and more capital for investment in important services. If you’re young and thinking of giving Australia, you’d be welcomed with open arms providing you possess some kind of skills.

The most popular areas of Australia, Sydney and Brisbane, enjoy a diverse mix of people from around the world, the majority of which come from the UK. The UN states that a staggering 1.3 million British expats now call Australia home, which also includes temporary visitors taking short term work and students filling in the gaps between higher education.


In terms of opportunity, nothing comes remotely close to China. The country itself is a sizeable sea of developing infrastructure, growing conglomerates, and plenty of opportunities for English speaking expats as China becomes more deeply connected with the culture and practices of the Western world. Currently, it is estimated that around 37,000 Britons currently reside in China, with a further 1,500 pensioners retiring to China each year.

Major Chinese cities such as Shanghai and Hong Kong also play an important part in international finance, meaning a large number of British financiers often come to China looking for opportunities in the growing international banking sector. Another popular opportunity in China is the growing requirement for native English language speakers, who are often hired as teachers for both school children and adult classes.


The sunny shores of Cyprus have attracted many UK expats over the years. Cyprus itself was a part of the British Empire for over 83 years before gaining independence, so many social and cultural aspects of the UK still remain prominent as part of life in Cyprus. Cyprus also has its unique culture and society to go alongside it, an unmistakably sunny approach to life and something that gels very with a decidedly British disposition.

Cyprus is also very popular with retirees from the UK, in which the laid-back lifestyle, sunny weather, widely used English language and tax benefits have made the island very attractive as a place to settle. Not to mention the beautiful villas with pools in Cyprus, close to the sea and perfect for anyone seeking a slower, more luxurious lifestyle.


Once again, a closely intertwined history has fostered a special relationship between the UK and USA, so it makes sense that UK expats would choose to settle in one of the fantastic 50 states. As of today, over 750,000 UK expats reside across the USA, with a varied and ever-changing demographic arriving the country to settle each year. This includes a combination of people looking to work and study.

America has always been known as a melting pot of cultures and immigrants from around the world, but with English as a first language, British expats feel right at home. America also benefits from warmer weather, a more diverse collection of geographical trappings, and cheaper housing costs with high standards of living.


The sunny weather and friendly locals make Spain an ideal place to start a new life as a British expat. In this regard, Spain is very popular with a wide variety of people; for younger visitors, there are short term work opportunities such as seasonal promotional work on the island of Ibiza, perfect for students on a gap year.

For expat families, Spain has long been a desirable location because of its abundance of work, easily adjustable lifestyle, and plenty of other opportunities for all the family. According to the UN, a total of 990,000 people currently reside in Spain, with the majority (39.4%) aged 45 – 64. The next most popular demographic is 25 – 44 (24.7%).


Asia, Australia, Europe, Expat, Immigration, North America, Travel, Travelling

Meet the author

author avatar NathalieM
Hello! I'm Nathalie and I love writing about what makes my world tick! Fashion, weddings, interior design, health, property..You name it, I will write about it!

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