Britons seeking a new life abroad are most likely to move to France, while the UK itself is the first choice for people relocating from countries such as the US, India and Canada, according to a new survey.
The findings come from an online questionnaire completed by 18,059 expats in 163 countries and territories, commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by YouGov this February and March.
Australia and the US are the second and third most preferred destinations for UK nationals. Hong Kong and New Zealand came fourth and fifth.
The study — HSBC Expat’s 12th annual league table of the best places to live and work, released tomorrow — found that one in 10 of the expats it surveyed from the UK had relocated to France, compared with one in 20 last year.
In 2018, France was only the fifth most popular option, behind the US, Australia, Spain and South Africa. Five years ago, it was seventh, also behind Turkey.
John Goddard, head of HSBC Expat, says better quality of life is the key driver for overseas moves. “France and Australia are increasingly popular destinations for Brits moving abroad for this very reason. An impressive family environment, fantastic scenery and a relaxed pace of life are all important reasons for people moving there.
“Those who want to maximise their career potential can find a balance, with hubs such as Melbourne and Paris offering high earnings and strong job prospects as well as a good quality of life.”
The HSBC survey found the UK was the most popular destination for people moving from nine other countries studied in detail: France, Australia, India, the US, Poland, Romania, Italy, Canada and South Africa. This finding may have been skewed by the survey’s UK origin.
The figures also reveal regional differences in where people choose to relocate. Seven of the top 10 destinations for people moving from the US — the Philippines, China, Mexico, Japan, Brazil, Germany and Thailand — do not feature in the top 10 for expats who have moved from the UK.
Meanwhile, three popular destinations for people moving from India — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Malaysia — do not make the top 10 for expats moving from the other nine countries studied in detail. Vietnam is only in the top 10 for Australian expats, while Qatar only makes the top 10 for people moving from South Africa.