78% of British expatriates are happier abroad

Almost 80% of people who emigrated from the UK are happy with their decision to move overseas, according to the UKForex Happiness Survey among 1,122 British expatriates. This compares with just 51.77% of respondents who were happy with their previous life in the UK.

The happiest people surveyed live in Spain, with 91% of emigrants saying that they were happy or very happy with their lives there. New Zealand emigrants were also relatively happy, with 88% of respondents satisfied with their new life. Canadian and Australian emigrants followed close behind on 86.4% and 84.2% respectively. The unhappiest respondents live in France and the United States, with 18.6% and 13.8% respectively disappointed with new life.

According to studies by the Institute for Public Policy Research, about 5.5 million British-born people live abroad, which is one of the reasons for which expatriate marketing has become a high priority for many British service providers. The UKForex survey found that 35.3% of surveyed UK expats cite ‘better quality of life’ as the main reason for moving to other countries. The other top five reasons given for moving to particular destinations are:

  1. 12.3% for new experience/adventure
  2. 9.3% for new job/job relocation
  3. 6.3% to start a new life
  4. 2.4% because cost of living in Britain too high
  5. 2.2% for family/friends in Australia

Interestingly, the results of the survey are quite different from a recent poll among German expatriates from Just Landed. According to this poll, only 22% of German expatriates are “very happy” abroad, while 71% plan to go back to Germany at some point.

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Winston says:

It’s funny that the title of this article is the same as that of my website and domain name, HappierAbroad.com.

That’s unusual, so I want to use this as a chance to ask again, WHY does the media and other expat sites only consider economic issues, as though there was an underlying assumption that all people need is a job to be happy and everything else falls into place. Nothing could be further from the truth. Why do you think most faces in the US are grumpy and irritable? And most Americans live in fear and paranoia. All they do is work, consume and mind their own business. It’s a total contrast to how Americans are portrayed in the movies, as talkative, outgoing, communicative, expressive, warm and open, whereas in reality they are private and reserved and don’t talk to others unless it’s business related.

Most expats I know go abroad for the better psychological, romantic and social benefits. They find dating abroad to be far superior and would never go back.

A person has romantic, social, psychological and sexual needs too, you know. And many in America and the UK are not getting those needs fulfilled, but they are abroad, yet all of this is ignored in the media and on other expat sites. My site is the ONLY expat site that dares focus on these issues, rather than only economic ones.

See many examples of people who have a better romantic, social and psychological life overseas here:


And see my site for a full presentation of why a lonely, dateless, sexless male in the US, Canada or UK can be “happier abroad”: http://www.happierabroad.com


Simon Lynch says:

We don’t have any figures on whether expatriates are unhappiest in France! On personal experience, I would say that it’s a pretty nice place to live. If you don’t learn French you might have more trouble fitting in though – something to bear in mind if you are not ready to put a bit of work into learning the language.

Sefia says:

is it really true that expats in France are teh unhappiest with their new move life decision? i’m looking to go to France, so i wantd to make plenty sure…



Morgan says:

That doesn’t really surprise me. But I would supposed that most Germans are unhappy whereever they are, it’s just part of the mentality ;o)