Typical expat Brit now female, young and mobile

Published:  24 Mar at 6 PM
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Young, female and mobile are the buzz words for a new breed of British expat, according to a recent survey.

The recently-announced findings of a survey by a major British bank have identified a huge change in the composition of the UK expat community overseas. Over the last five years, the number of young, upwardly mobile workers living overseas has increased by a massive 265 per cent and now comprises more than half of the total of Brits working abroad. What’s more, the numbers of female expats in the 25-35 age group has doubled since 2011.

In the past, the term ‘expat’ mostly referred to retirees enjoying a leisurely existence after a lifetime of toil, simply sitting in the sun and sipping cocktails. The exceptions to that rule were adventurous, usually male, entrepreneurs staking their all on making it in a new country or taking up important admin jobs in international companies. These days, it seems that work rather than play is taking over as the new motivation for moving overseas.

Another 'new breed' expat group which doesn’t seem to have made it into the survey is composed of digital nomads, travellers who roam the world from popular expat hubs to relatively unknown corners with good internet access, simply doing online what they love best. Web designers, freelance writers, travel buffs, photographers, bloggers, e-book authors and suchlike travel around Europe, the Americas and Asia meeting up with like-minded souls and sharing information and experiences.

Like the predominately female expat group identified in the survey, they tend to be younger and their stays in any one location are temporary at best although they may never return to their home countries. In this wired world, they may well be the equivalent of the 60’s and 70’s backpackers who explored unknown locations and passed on their experiences to their peers back in the home country. Nowadays, the digital nomads’ experiences are online for millions to read, watch and comment on – all in real time by simply logging on to a social media site.
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