In 2006 net emigration from the UK reached 124,000. That year was famously buoyant on many fronts, not least the economies of much of Europe, the property markets of Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus and Dubai, and the positive outlook of many British and Irish people hoping to move to somewhere warmer.
The economic downturn that began in 2008 applied the brakes to this mass emigration of Brits, with just 44,000 officially emigrating in 2009 and a mere 43,000 making the move in 2010.
This data has recently been published in a House of Commons Library report using Eurostat and Office for National Statistics data. It revealed that emigration numbers began to rise in 2012, when 63,000 Brits made the move, and data for 2013 and 2014 – not yet verified – is likely to record a continuation of that trend. The Brits are back.
Overall, more than five million British people now live overseas, with data from UN International Trends showing that in Europe, Spain remains the most popular destination for Brits, with 381,025 expats officially registered there.
However, these official figures are conservatively estimated and rely on data from Spanish town halls, ie, this figure represents Britons who have registered as residents. The true figure is likely to be at least double that, with some studies having suggested that there may well be around one million Brits residing for all or part of the year in Spain.
Either way, Spain’s popularity with British expats is legendary, so these statistics are not too surprising. Elsewhere in Europe, more Brits live in Ireland (253,605) than they do in France (172,806), while Germany is home to 96,938 Brits – a figure that is expected to rise faster than most others over the next few years.
Beyond Europe, the data shows that Canada, the USA and Australia all have more Brits living there than in Spain, which hints at the fact that many Brits simply want more space and better weather, rather than the chance to expand their cultural and linguistic horizons.
Luckily, Spain offers the best of both worlds. The Costa del Sol is a haven for expats because it provides a well established network of English-speaking attractions, amenities and services, but also delivers superb weather, beautiful scenery, rich history, wonderful Spanish customs and traditions and – last but not least – some of the best, most affordable property available anywhere in the world.
Courtesy: Ian CLover
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