Why So Many People Are Leaving The UK?

Published: 27 Feb at 3 PM
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Filed: Emigrating,England
The last decade has seen a significant rise in British people opting to move abroad for a better lifestyle. In 2006 an estimated 207,000 British Nationals emigrated, this is now at an all time high, with numbers of this scale not seen since before the 1st World War. The most popular destinations for British ex-pats are France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand, with over 50% choosing these countries to emigrate to.

More Brits live abroad than other nation, so why is this? What is it about Britain that is making so many of us leave to set up life in another country? In the last twenty years more opportunity's have become available which now makes it easier for many Brits to move abroad, who before could only dream of another life in the sun. There are many factors influencing ex-pats decisions to move abroad and start a new life.

One of the overwhelming factors which encourage Brits to move abroad is the dismal weather which blights the UK. Although the UK has beautiful countryside and stunning beaches, the weather permits how often we get to enjoy these delights. Even in summer months there is no guarantee that we can plan a picnic or a day out to the beach, as more often than not the weather will destroy our best laid plans. Countries such as Greece, Spain, France and Italy have beautiful warm summer days and balmy nights where they can enjoy visits to the beach, evening strolls along the harbour and dining al-fresco at home or outdoor restaurants. When we see British people drinking coffee, shivering on outdoor patio's, it is not difficult to see why a move to a warmer country is so appealing for many.

Often the cost of living in many foreign countries is a contributing factor for many Brits when considering a move abroad. Many skilled professionals find that they can earn more than they do in the UK with better working conditions, such as less working hours, less tax and private health care schemes. Many ex-pats have noticed an improvement in their leisure time with a better balance between their working life and social life. The majority of Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Italy have relaxed working hours and often enjoy siesta's during the hotter time of the day. Eating out and day to day living is often also less expansive in many of these countries than in Britain.

The combination of less working hours and more leisure time has dramatically improved the quality of life for many ex-pats living abroad. According to a report by the Daily Mail, nine out of ten Brits living abroad said their quality of life has improved since leaving the UK. Often the way of life is much slower and relaxed than Britain where everyone appears to be rushing around. Many ex-pats commented that their life was now much less stressful than it had been in the UK.

Although a large proportion of Brits emigrating abroad are retired people hoping for a warmer and relaxing climate to live, families and younger people are now also making the move to up and leave the UK for good. Increased crime rates and anti-social behavior in nearly all towns in the UK is a worry for many and often a reason that many are now looking for a safer life abroad. In many cities throughout the UK, gang culture has increased with more knife and gun crimes been committed than ever before. Glasgow and London both have high crime rates compared to most other European cities. Many people feel unsafe on the streets of the UK and are now opting for a safer life for their family in a country with less crime and a better quality of life. Countries like Greece and Italy have a stronger family ethic then we appear to have in the UK, which is an attraction for many when moving abroad.

In addition to the rising crime throughout cities in the UK, an increase in rules and regulations in the British society is also beginning to have a negative effect on many people. This is especially true of young people who are looking for adventure and willing to try out another lifestyle abroad in a country which appears to be more welcoming and less dictating than the UK. For many of us disheartened by the British society it can often feel that we are told what we must eat, how much to drink and where we can smoke. For some the country has now become too politically correct and we are often afraid to open our mouths for fear we offend someone when we speak.

Whether it be Europe, Asia, Africa or Australia it appears that the British are unsatisfied with their lives in the UK and will continue in their search for the perfect life away from miserable and wet Britain.

Did you know:

1) In 2011 it was reported that 1000 people are leaving the UK every day in search of warmer climates and a higher standard of living.

2) Of these 1000 people, over 40% are British Citizens.

3) Recent reports suggest that there are presently 3.4 million British people living abroad, which is 7% of the British population.

4) 15% of these Brits living abroad are classified as skilled professionals, such as doctors, paramedics and lawyers.

5) One of the contributing factors why people are leaving the UK is the increase in house prices and cost of living. In London in 2011 the average price of a house was over 400,000 pounds which is making it difficult for many young people to get on the property ladder.

6) Many wealthy Britons are now considering moving abroad due to high taxes and increased crime. 19% of British Citizens with savings of over a quarter of a million have said they would consider moving abroad.

7) Of those wealthy Britons questioned, 46% have cited crime and anti-social behaviour as the most popular reason for wanting to move.

8) 41% of the wealthy Britons believe life is more stressful in the UK than other European countries, which have a slower, more relaxing pace to life.

9) The foreign embassy has reported an average of 4000 visa applications per week for people wishing to move abroad, compared with just 300 per week ten years ago.
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Comments » There are 3 comments

Carol & Jim wrote 11 years ago:

I really enjoyed reading this excellent piece and as someone who left the UK for Australian shores, I couldn't agree more. It was the bad weather, local youth gangs and high property taxes which made our decision to leave a lot easier. The UK is a beautiful and amazing country but the issues in your article spell out the reality of life there. We have no regrets but I do know some Brits here who have never settled properly, largely because they want Britain in the sun.

Mike wrote 10 years ago:

The UK is a nation in poverty. I live in the USA and have done for several years. On my return trips to visit family, the cost of everything, the poverty which is very visible in town centres, the unsafe feeling in the big cities, London in particular and the rubbish on the street all convince me I made the correct decision. Most of the people I meet would leave, and the USA would be the number one destination if they could get visas. Unless they have strong family ties, you rarely meet people who want to remain in the UK. They are also fed up with corruption in politics and despite the PR campaign, very few really want a royal family. All very depressing for the Brits really.

Zak wrote 10 years ago:

I left the UK for New Zealand in 2007 having lived in and around London for most of my life. There is nothing I miss about the UK. The whole of the UK in now in accelerated decline in almost every area of life. The lack of sunshine is a major problem. The second biggest problem is that there has been no improvement in the political system since women got the vote. People must be allowed to vote on each issue not for a political party that just ends up doing what the NWO tells it to do. Consider this; every city in the UK is now a multicultural ghetto with a huge crime rate, yet the general public never voted to import millions of foreigners from 2nd and 3rd world countries. Huge areas of London now look like a 3rd world country. Its hard to imagine a bright future for a country that had such a huge and constructive impact on the planet just a century or so ago.

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