Well over half the expatriates surveyed by Alliance & Leicester International said that the reason they decided to leave Britain was in search of better weather. This was closely followed by better quality of life and higher standard of living.

British expats living in Australia and Spain are the most contented, according to the poll.

* Homes overseas for sale

Top ten reasons expats enjoy life in their adopted country over the UK:

Better weather (57%)
Better quality of life (56%)
Higher standard of living (53%)
Safer / lower crime rate (49%)
Slower pace of life (36%)
Higher income (30%)
Better food (28%)
The expat lifestyle (27%)
Mixing with the local people (26%)
A more social society (19%)
 
However, there are some downsides to moving abroad. Over half (51%) of expats miss their family and one in five (21%) struggle with language barriers. Almost one in ten (9%) admit to missing British food. Unsurprisingly, only 4% claim to miss the UK’s weather.

60% of retired British expats rate good weather as the factor which sets their new country of residence apart from the UK. A higher standard of living and better quality of life were ranked second and third place (48% and 44% respectively).

Expats who have moved abroad to run a business, as well as those who emigrated for family reasons also rated weather as their number one ‘pull’ for living abroad (70% and 60% respectively).  50% of those who moved overseas for business purposes rated standard of living and safety as joint second favourites, and 45% placed the slower pace of life in their new country at third.

After weather, people who emigrated for family reasons felt that the better quality of life and feeling safer in their new country were important – rating them in second and third place (45% and 40% respectively).

Australia and Spain came out top as the countries which are home to the most satisfied expats.  Eighty-six per cent of those living Down Under voted weather as the best thing about the country, with 80% saying standard of living and 73% quality of life were the best things about the country.

However, a massive 87% said that the worst factor about living in Australia was that they were so far away from their family. Spain also fared extremely well, with 92% putting weather at the top of the list, while 85% appreciated the slower pace of living as well as feeling safer in Spain than in the UK.

New Zealand also scored highly in the poll due to its favourable costs and high quality of life. Nearly two thirds (62%) said standard of living and quality of life were the best things about living abroad as opposed to the UK.

Simon Ripton, Joint Managing Director of Alliance & Leicester International says: ‘The survey findings show that many Brits have moved abroad in an attempt to escape the UK’s dismal weather. Other factors that have emerged as being important to expats are improved quality of life and a better standard of living. However, although countries like Australia can offer good weather in abundance, the poll revealed that many Brits claim the worst thing about living abroad is missing friends and family – which just goes to show that there are some home comforts that can’t be found abroad.  

‘Expats who appreciate the warmer climes abroad but miss aspects of Britain, may find that using a bank like ALIL is an ideal way to maintain a link with their native country. Not only can expats protect their savings from local currency fluctuation, but they can also be safe in the knowledge that they can access their savings using internet banking 24 hours a day.”

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