Australia still beats the competition for best UK expat destination

Published:  14 Oct at 6 PM
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As Northern Europe’s chilling winter months draw nearer and the results of seasonal surveys of the perfect expat destination hit forums and advice websites, potential migrants could be forgiven for an excess of confusion over which destination is best.

The NatWest Quality of Life Survey, one of the better indications of migration preferences, produced a surprise this year with its conclusion that the West as a preferred expat destination is being overtaken by Eastern delights. Even so, Australia still tops the chart as UK expats’ all time favourite.

Unsurprisingly, the Antipodean island continent with its glorious coastline and beaches, first-world lifestyle and warm, sunny weather secured approval from 82 per cent of the UK expats who took part in the survey. Environment and quality of life were the high spots, especially for the 26 per cent who’d retired to Oz.

However, popular European destinations hit the bottom of the league table, with their places taken over by Hong Kong, Singapore and China. The Far East, it seems, offers friendly, fascinating local cultures, great food and a satisfactory work-life balance for increasing numbers of expat residents and their families.

China’s public transport, including its famous bullet trains modelled on Japan’s Shinkansen, its vast bus networks and city subways were highly praised. Singapore won out for Brit expats with children, with its sparkling cleanliness and excellent education rewarded by 10th place in the survey.

According to the survey, 84 per cent of younger expats living and working in the UAE are more than happy with their lifestyle, high salaries, working environment, and career prospects. The downsides of integration problems and fewer friends didn’t affect the emirate’s third place in the rankings.

Formerly popular EU member states slid down the rankings due to job security fears, local austerity measures and negative projections as regards career options. Many expats now living in Europe are planning to move back to the UK on a permanent basis.
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