Where do expats move and why?

The decision to relocate abroad is driven by a number of factors, most commonly it is due to a job opportunity in another nation or by the desire to fulfil a retirement dream. Others relocate in search of a better quality of life, whereas some depart our shores to experience a new culture and benefit from a change of scenery. There are numerous nations that are popular among expats and below we’ll discuss some of these, plus some of the reasons why expats chose to move to these places.


America is one of the most favoured expat destinations due to the fact that it presents an easy transition to Brits relocating, as we share the same language and the culture is not vastly different. For those who enjoy exploring, the USA is potentially the most exciting and diverse nation that expats frequently relocate to. Within one nation you can travel from glorious sunshine to cold winter snow in just one flight and this is certainly appealing. Unlike EU nations however, British expats must apply for a Visa to live and work in the US and this is not always a straightforward process. There are also the associated costs of moving to somewhere far away from home, which also means trips back to the UK are more expensive than if you were to relocate within Europe.


There are 2 reasons that Malta is so popular among British expats, these are the favourable weather conditions and the fact that English is spoken by the majority of the Maltese population. The latter certainly makes settling in far easier for those relocating here, plus Malta drive on the same side of the road as the UK and this is another bonus. Malta is Europe’s most southerly nation, hence why the temperature reaches well into the 40’s during the summer and hits the 20 degree mark and beyond during the winter months. Malta has been occupied by a number of nations and therefore offers a blend of many cultures, with a hint of the Mediterranean cuisine and laid back culture.


Another destination that attracts expats as a result of more consistent weather is Spain, where expat communities can be found across the nation and its numerous islands. The number of existing British communities makes it far easier for expats to fit in, providing them with an easier transition into Spanish culture and reducing the pressure to learn the language. However, the dire state of the Spanish economy makes it a far more appealing proposition for expat retirees and far less appealing to those relocating with the aim to continue their career. If you are considering relocating in Spain, it is advisable to arrange employment before you depart or at least look into job prospects in your new home nation.


Tax rates are without doubt the biggest draw for expats relocating to Switzerland, with many fleeing the UK to take advantage of the fairer tax structure. High earners are not punished like they are in Britain and this provides expats in Switzerland with more disposable income. Couple this with the fact that Switzerland offers a far superior quality of life and it is understandable that so many expats head to this snowy nation each year. And that’s it, a look at some of the most popular expat nations. Where would you move if you relocate to any country across the world? Let us know in the comments below.

Author bio:

This article has been written by Gary Stringer on behalf of Whichoffshore, an independent online consumer resource offering information on expat retirement planning and how to invest offshore.