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Why Britain is Experiencing Mass Emigration

Jul 18, 2008
One British citizen leaves the UK every 3 minutes, 5.5 million Brits are already living abroad, by 2025 it is estimated that 1.8 million British retirees will be living overseas and by 2050 this figure could top 3.3 million.

But why are so many Britons of all ages choosing to leave the UK, and what sort of a life awaits them when they move to places like Florida, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Spain?

It seems that the number one reason driving British citizens, and in particular British retirees away from the UK's shores is a financial one. The cost of living in the UK has risen sharply against a bleak economic backdrop. Up to 2 million pensioners already live in poverty according to the charity Age Concern, and in a recent survey conducted to determine how much Brits need to live a basic but decent standard of living it was found that the British state pension falls far short of that which is required to remain living comfortably in the UK.

When actually asked to try and survive on the basic state pension for a week in an experiment designed by the insurance firm AXA, UK pre-retiree adults who took part overspent by 158% despite trying their absolute hardest to stay on track and budget hard. These affordability factors are absolutely the foundations upon which a mounting sense of despair is growing in Britain among its citizens, and so it is no wonder that more and more are looking abroad to see if they can make their money go further.

However, the one question remains: are these people who are moving abroad in search of a more affordable, better quality of life being realistic about their hopes, dreams and aspirations? The answers, in the form of a survey by a leading British bank and the think tank the Centre for Future Studies, shows that actually, Brits who have already emigrated and started a new life abroad are not only happier than before they left UK, but in many cases they are wealthier too.

91% of expatriates surveyed by the bank and the think tank in a survey about British expatriates' quality of life abroad said that they are now happier than they were in the UK, and 90% said that they were financially better off. It seems the facts speak for themselves then, Britain is experiencing mass migration because it is too expensive and because British citizens are well aware that they stand a very high chance of being happier and wealthier when living abroad.
About the Author
Rhiannon Davies writes for Shelter Offshore, the primary online publication for living, working and moving abroad. You can read more about why Britain's retirees are moving abroad on Shelter Offshore.
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