There’s over 5m British people living their lives abroad around the world. We take a look to see if it's still a something that is seriously worth considering for the average Brit.
By far and away Australia remains the most popular choice for Brits looking to emigrate. While a Christmas Day BBQ on the beach may not be everyone’s cup of tea, it is clear that the thought of warm, sunny days on the beach combined with a sporty and lively culture attracted over 1.2 million Brits in 2014 alone!
Moving to the other side of the world may seem daunting, but with one of the best performing economies during the global financial meltdown there are plenty of jobs with good wages that are attracting a lot of young people who are struggling for work in the UK.
The fact that the Australian Dollar has weakened significantly in the last two years has certainly made it considerably cheaper for people moving from the UK. The Australian economy remained strong during the global recession, which meant the AUD was one of the strongest performing currencies. However, the Reserve Bank of Australia intervened in order to weaken the currency to help keep their exports (which is a large part of their economy) competitive.
This has seen an improvement of close to 30% in the last two years alone, meaning people moving sums of around £100,000 to Australia would get roughly an additional AUD 60,000!
The second most popular destination last year was America with over three quarters of a million people making the move to the States. The American dream is still a strong lure and with the Pound spending most of 2014 at very strong levels against the Dollar it was very attainable dream.
However, it will be interesting to see whether America remains a popular destination with the recent strengthening of the Dollar, making it roughly 10% more expensive in currency terms now that at the high last summer. However, with property prices steadily rising and the economy now steadily growing again it is likely to remain a popular destination.
The most popular European destination is Spain with approximately 400,000 people making the move last year. The short hop across to the continent provides warm weather, friendly locals and often a good gathering of other British expats. Offering such a wide variety of culture, from the beautiful sandy beaches to the mountainous orange groves and some of the best restaurants in the world there is something for everybody.
A weak Euro has meant it is yet another destination that is now cheaper to move to thanks to the recent currency movement. The expectation is that the Euro will remain under pressure for the foreseeable future so it is likely Spain will remain a popular destination and the British migration there will continue.
A short hop across to the continent to Spain, where the warm weather, friendly locals has always proven very popular with British expats.
The third most popular destination is again in North America with Canada attracting just shy of 700,000 Brits last year. Famed for its peoples friendly and welcoming nature as well as some of the most stunning landscapes, it is clear why so many people make the move to Canada.
Interestingly, Canada has the longest stretch of coastline in the world at over 202,000 km and the country comprises 6 different time zones! The Mounties are also a famous “landmark” from Canada with about 30,000 members now in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Canadian Dollar is another currency that Sterling has performed well against and as we enter 2015 the Pound is now over 10 cents better than at times last year, which makes it considerably cheaper to make the move to Canada now.
The land of the long white cloud was the fifth most popular emigration destination in 2014.
The rise in popularity was in part thanks to its starring role in the recent Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies which highlighted some of the countries stunning landscapes. It is also another country with a friendly, relaxed and welcoming culture and is a winner for sports lovers with the best and most famous rugby team in the world in the shape of the All Blacks. Last year over 313,000 people made the move to New Zealand and with its great wine making and stunning weather it is likely to remain as a popular destination for Brits.
The New Zealand Dollar has been incredibly volatile over the past year moving almost 9% from the high to the low and it seems to be tracking the Australian Dollar which is also weakening making it even cheaper to move across to New Zealand.