A study commissioned by NatWest International has shown British expatriates can enjoy a 43% uplift on the average UK salary by relocating abroad.
The NatWest International Personal Banking Expat Wealth Ranking Survey, produced with think tank the Centre of Future Studies, found that the average wage for British expats working abroad is currently £67,000, compared with the UK average of £47,000.
While the United Arab Emirates topped the average salary scale with a wage of £79,000, the cost of living in Dubai meant expats there did not feel financially better off. In comparison, although the average expat salary in Spain is lower, at £65,000, 95% of those surveyed said they experienced a lower cost of living in Spain than in the UK. New Zealand was second, with 93% reporting a lower cost of living, in spite of a relatively low average expat salary of £60,000. Italy and France had the second and third-highest average earnings, but were respectively fourth and sixth in the list of countries with a lower cost of living.
The survey also looked at the type of work undertaken by expats. Among others, it found that Dubai had the highest concentration of financial services professionals, while New Zealand was more likely to attract scientists and those in Portugal were most likely to be employed in sales and marketing.
Some 91% of expats in Portugal and 88% in Spain said they felt healthier living abroad, though this fell to just 38% of those based in Dubai. Portugal also topped the table of the happiest expats, with 100% of those questioned saying they were happier in Portugal than in the UK.
David Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Bank, commented: “Expats who have moved abroad appear to be wealthier, healthier and happier and all these factors have contributed to a better quality of life. It seems as if expats have not only found their pot of gold abroad but are able to enjoy themselves and feel healthier for having made the move.”
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