Published On: Wed, Nov 5th, 2014

British Expats Are Coming Home In Droves Here’s Why

At the turn of the century the numbers of people leaving the UK were as high as 200,000 a year. In 2006 the figures reached a record high as 207,000 left. But in 2010 only 136,000 chose to leave the country for somewhere new.


In 2011 149,000 Brits left the UK to begin their life somewhere new. The most popular destination is still Australia with 64,000 people making the move in 2009-2010. One of the reasons for this is the abundance of apartments for sale in Perth. However, the figures actually show the number of people leaving the United Kingdom has fallen.

The United States was once ousted as the second most popular destination for Brits by Spain, but the world’s largest economy has battled back to reclaim the runners up spot. In 2000-2001 the top 10 destinations for Brits included the Netherlands and Japan.

Since 1995 760,000 people have swapped life in Britain for Spain. But Spain reported a 23 per cent drop in British expats since January 2013. Unemployment in Spain stands as high as 26 per cent. The Eurozone crisis is obviously a huge factor in why 50,000 Brits want to come home. Government cuts has seen a number of businessmen and women put out of business .

The great recession has obviously had an impact because when unemployment is high there are usually less people leaving the country. You do after all need some money before you can take off in search of work.

Between 4,000 and 8,000 pensioners leave the UK annually that is also down from a peak of 22,000 in 2006. Over 100 countries are home to 1,000 Brits.

But some people’s experiences hasn’t been so great. Over 9,000 Brits left Australia in 2009-2010 for good. This was the largest emigration statistics recorded by the immigration department.

Reasons why people want to come back include missing friends and family and not being able to find a sense of purpose and belonging in their new country. Many Brits end up feeling as outsiders even if they lived abroad for a number of reasons.

The cost of living has also played a part as more and more every day essential items have risen. In contrast fewer Australians are also moving to the United Kingdom. They cited a lack of jobs as the main reason for not making the move. Compared to 2005 14,000 Australians  decided to stay away.

Other reasons include the booming Australian economy. The Aussies no longer need to come over to the UK and take temp jobs, because they have more dollars to burn in their own country. Some have wanted to remain in the UK, but trying to find permanent well paid work proved too difficult.

The BBC has published a well written article that documents people’s experiences in Australia. If you fancy making the move it may well be worth a read. Take a look at these people’s experiences before you make a decision.