When it comes to living abroad, it seems the grass really is greener.
Nine out of ten expatriates say their quality of life has improved – earning more and enjoying better conditions than they would have in Britain.
On average, pay for managers and professionals who choose to work abroad is up to £20,000 higher than they would get here.
The findings from a study by NatWest underline the reasons why emigration among Britons has reached record highs. It suggests that the attractions for talented and able workers of quitting Britain are strengthening during the recession as private sector wages stagnate and public services threaten to deteriorate.
More than 200,000 British citizens sought overseas removals to live abroad in 2006, followed by another 169,000 in 2007. But in 2007 only 75,000 Britons who had been living or working in a foreign country chose to return – again a record low.
The bank’s Quality of Life report said that 19 per cent of those working abroad currently intend to come back to Britain at some time, down from more than a quarter, 26 per cent, two years ago.
It said: ‘When it comes to living and working overseas the advantages come thick and fast. Working hours are far less intensive and expats say they manage to achieve a better work/life balance with much more leisure time. Professional expats can earn significantly more than their peers back home. On average an expat professional’s salary is up to £20,000 higher than their UK counterparts.’
One comment on the survey, from a British expat, summed up the feeling for many disillusioned Brits:
Of course most people are glad to have left otherwise they would come back…
“People are building lives for themselves and are sick of the UK where your tax money goes towards building a life for those who sit on their backside and contribute nothing to society (and maintain the same lifestyle as you do) rather than building the amazing society that the UK could have…”