Date: 8th June 2012
8th June 2012 - Springtime in Britain continues to flip between sunshine and rain, but a new survey from Lloyds TSB International shows the warmer climate of southern Europe is having the best effect on the happiness levels of UK expats in Spain - despite the country’s less-than glowing economy.
The international bank polled British citizens living in the 10 most popular destinations and found that overall 68 per cent of respondents were much happier in their new country than they were in the UK. This figure did differ significantly from country to country though, with Spain topping the list (75.9 per cent) and Germany ranking highly (71 per cent).
The research also looked at the quality of life expats had in their new home, as well as their cost of living and financial well-being. It was revealed that 77 per cent of expats in Australia and 79 per cent in New Zealand said they had a much better standard of living, yet this didn’t translate directly to happiness, with 64.7 per cent and 50 per cent respectively saying they were happier.
This suggests other factors play an important role, with one such point being the cost of living. As an example, 35 per cent of those in Australia and 29 per cent in New Zealand said costs were lower there than in Britain.
Another consideration for Britons living abroad is their overall financial well-being, which is where the tax-free United Arab Emirates takes the lead in the study. Here, 95 per cent of expats said they were financially better off. That said, only 22 per cent saying their cost of living was lower than in the UK.
Nicholas Boys Smith of Lloyds TSB International said: “Much has been made of the gloomy economic outlook in Spain and the government’s austerity programme, but despite this stream of bad news, British expats think their financial prospects are better there than in the UK. But more importantly, it seems a good quality of life, perhaps including the sunny weather and the laidback Mediterranean lifestyle, are contributing to Spain’s place as number one for general happiness.”
“These findings show that there is a real variety of decisions to be made when choosing where to emigrate. Expats who choose a country solely based on financial prospects may find they compromise on quality of life, or vice versa. Happiness is influenced by many different factors which need to be considered together – for example New Zealand was thought to have the best quality of life, but actually ranked lowest for overall happiness.”
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Notes to editors
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from a survey of 1,034 British expats based in the 10 most popular expat destinations. Conducted by Freshminds, the survey uses a sample of expats from each country that is representative of the global spread of British expats. The survey was conducted online in September 2011. The countries involved are: Australia, Spain, USA, Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, UAE and Hong Kong*.
Lloyds TSB has opened over 20,000 international bank accounts in the last 12 months.
The bank provides financial guidance and a checklist to help people emigrate at: www.lloydstsb-offshore.com.
For further information on Lloyds TSB International, please contact:
Colleen Brayshaw, Grayling (on behalf of Lloyds TSB International)
Tel: +44 (0)20 7932 1872
Mob: +44 (0)7946 794 223
George Morrison, Grayling (on behalf of Lloyds TSB International)
Tel: +44 (0) 207 592 7928
Mob: +44 (0) 7595 963 758