Natwest predicts 3.3 million Brits may move abroad by 2050

01 February 2008 / by Joy Tibbs
Greener pastures overseas are increasingly appealing to people in the UK according to Natwest.

The At Home Abroad (AHA) generation is primarily driven by a desire for an improved lifestyle; the bank's Quality of Life Report – looked at various lifestyle indicators such as property abroad, public services, weather and natural environment – reveals.

It found that 37 per cent of expats surveyed cited better quality of life as the main impetus for upping sticks, while standard of living was behind the decision for 26 per cent and cost of living prompted 20 per cent to move abroad.

Head of NatWest international personal banking, Dave Isley, says: "British expatriates are healthier, wealthier and happier; wherever they move to. It is interesting that the study also reveals the motivation to leave is not just dissatisfaction with life in the UK.

"The prospect of a good lifestyle abroad appears to finally prompt the decision to make the final leap."

And the vast majority of those surveyed claimed emigrating was all, if not more, than it was cracked up to be. While 92 per cent said they now enjoy better quality of life, 63 per cent say they are actually more at home than abroad and do not plan to return to the UK.

An impressive 87 per cent claim life overseas exceeded their expectations, while 91 per cent claim to be happier now that they were when living in the UK. Furthermore, 90 per cent say they are more comfortable financially and 68 per cent feel healthier in their new country.

Canada hit the top spot in terms of overall quality of life ratings, followed by New Zealand and Portugal. Other destinations making the top ten were Italy, France, Sweden, Spain, Norway, Singapore, and the UAE.

Canada achieved a score of 63.95 from a possible 80, receiving credit for housing, natural environment and the availability of consumer goods, while New Zealand scored highly for its schools and healthcare provision.

The AHA generation also looks set to grow in the future as people enjoy longer retirements. According to the report, 1.8 million Brits (13.2 per cent of the population) could spend their later years abroad by 2025, while by 2050 this could rise to 3.3 million.

"There are a number of different reasons why people relocate abroad, to be nearer to family and friends, to start a new job, or as the study demonstrates, to increase their quality of life.

"This is only likely to increase in the future, with many more taking the decision to spend their twilight years sipping sangria in Spain, Chianti in Italy, or eating maple syrup and pancakes in Canada," says Mr Isley.

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