High cost of living in the Antipodes hits popularity as expat destination, according to a survey by TSB International.
Yet despite the poor outlook for the Spanish economic, British expats still feel happiest in Spain, which ranked number one for expat happiness, with over three quarters (75.9%) of Brits living there saying they are happier than back at home. Germany also rates highly on the happiness scale with 71% saying they are happier than in the UK.
As well as overall happiness, the survey - conducted in the 10 most popular destinations for British expats - examined expats’ perceptions of quality of life in their new countries, cost of living and financial well-being.
The Antipodes were highly rated for quality of life, with 77% in Australia and 79% in New Zealand feeling their living standards are better. However despite this, these two countries were not as highly ranked for happiness, with 64.7% of expats in Australia and only 50% in New Zealand saying they were happier than in the UK suggesting that other factors exert an influence on expats’ general happiness. Both countries rated poorly when judged by cost of living, with only 35% of those in Australia and 29% in New Zealand saying their living costs are lower than in the UK.
Financial well-being is an important consideration for expats, and the UAE exceeds all other countries with 95 per cent of expats saying they feel financially better off in the tax-free emirates than in the UK. However, many expats view it as an expensive place to live with just 22 per cent saying they have a lower cost of living than in the UK.
In addition, the survey found that they are far happier in their new countries than they were back at home. Overall, 68 per cent of those asked said that they felt happier where they were than in the UK, although for certain countries this figure was much higher.
Commenting on the results, Nicholas Boys Smith of Lloyds TSB International said: “Much has been made of the gloomy economic outlook in Spain and the government’s austerity programme, but despite this stream of bad news, British expats think their financial prospects are better there than in the UK. But more importantly, it seems a good quality of life, perhaps including the sunny weather and the laidback Mediterranean lifestyle, are contributing to Spain’s place as number one for general happiness.”
“These findings show that there is a real variety of decisions to be made when choosing where to emigrate. Expats who choose a country solely based on financial prospects may find they compromise on quality of life, or vice versa. Happiness is influenced by many different factors which need to be considered together – for example New Zealand was thought to have the best quality of life, but actually ranked lowest for overall happiness.”
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