Where are British Expats living?

With a huge and growing diaspora, Britons are certainly spreading themselves far and wide – in fact, 9% of the UK population lives abroad, which is a large number (over 5.5 million people). A recent infographic from Now Health shows where they’ve chosen to make their homes:

Screen Shot 2013-05-29 at 12.23.59 PM


It was always going to be a popular choice. Similar cultural heritage but with better weather, a strong economy, booming jobs market and a relaxed sensibility, 1,062,000 Brits call Australia home.



Unsurprisingly, the next most popular destination is the USA, with 829,000 living in the United States. From coast to coast there is a huge variety of opportunities for work, lifestyle and recreation, so no wonder America holds such sway over expats. Many also appreciate



With the freedom provided by the EU, naturally European destinations are going to be attractive to Brits – Spain isn’t too far from home and yet it boasts a far more temperate climate, making it especially popular for retirees. 808,000 have made a home in Spain.



With many reciprocal visa arrangements, it’s not difficult for Brits to move to Canada – just ask  608,000 of them! Just a hop across the pond, Canada has both excellent lifestyle and opportunities and cultural diversity.



Ireland’s small population and small towns make it very appealing to Brits who want to get away from the densely populated UK. With easy travel between islands, plus some very big IT companies (Google, Facebook, Yahoo! and LinkedIn all have their Europe hubs in Dublin) and low tax rates, it’s easy to see why Ireland, with  289,000 expats, is a popular choice.



It’s amazing how a tiny band of water can separate two such diverse countries. France is swimmable (and sometimes even visible) from the south-east of England and yet, there is a world of difference in culture, food, architecture and weather. It’s the fond dream of many to restore a rural farmhouse and live the good life in the French countryside, and clearly many (253,000) are making it a reality.


The top reason people become expats is for work, and many follow their partner abroad too. Other places with large expat communities are New Zealand, Germany, the UAE and South Africa – wherever British expats go around the world they are likely to find a strong community of people who share a similar background, making the transition infinitely easier.


Vivienne Egan writes for Now Health