NatWest International Personal Banking's research from its latest Quality of Life Index shows how the motivation and triggers for expats have changed over the last five years. British expats are now more likely to move abroad primarily for career progression and challenges - with lifestyle as a secondary factor.
Economic prospects, which include higher salaries and a less burdensome tax regime, remain high on the list of reasons for Brits moving abroad. In terms of where expats are heading, the demand for our professional skills in the Tiger economies is growing. This has led to an 18% increase in the number of expats working in China and Singapore whilst the number working in the US has decreased by 11%.
Dave Isley, Head of Personal Banking, say that expats are not a holistic group, but multi-complex in terms of their reasons for migrating, choice of destination country and attitudes and behaviours while living abroad.
"Despite that complexity, the research undertaken for the NatWest IPB Quality of Life Index over the past five years has revealed particular common traits or characteristics that distinguish them as discernible groups. The image of a traditional ‘sunshine retirement’ expat has evolved to one that moves abroad primarily for career progression and challenges – with lifestyle as a secondary factor,” says Isley.
The bank’s findings confirm that compared to the average, expatriates tend to be more highly educated and have a higher than average income. One of the most striking examples of this particular ‘brain drain’ of skilled workers leaving the UK, means that on average 5.6% of the British population are living abroad as expatriates.
This level of expatriation more than doubles to 12.2% among the highly skilled proportion of the working population, meaning more than one out of 10 highly skilled British workers lives either permanently or temporarily abroad.
Further research detail confirms that more than 30% of expats earn salaries in excess of £100,000 a year. Many confirm they benefit from assistance with relocation, accommodation benefits and family benefits such as financial support for private schooling.
Due to leave 31 May
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