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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Opportunities and Cloudy Skies

The United Kingdom consistently ranks in the top third of the survey’s main indices, that is, as long as money is not concerned.

When it comes to quality of life, the main downfall of the UK is the climate. A mere 28% of participants describe the weather favorably, which significantly falls behind the global average of 64%. That minor detail aside, the UK has plenty to offer expats.

Travel opportunities in the UK are almost unlimited. Only one in ten expats are unhappy with the transport infrastructure, notably exceeded by the global average of 20%. Additionally, only 2% of respondents are unsatisfied with available travel opportunities in general.

Similarly, safety only causes a sliver of concern in the UK. Just 1% of participants consider the UK unsafe, and the same small number find this country politically unstable or lacking peace.

Expat Statistics UK

Expat Statistics UK infographic
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Set Up Camp

Most respondents (71%) consider it a challenge to live in the UK without being able to speak English, however, only 3% deem it a difficult language to learn.

Furthermore, only 12% find it challenging to get used to the local culture, while one-fifth of expats globally make the same claim. Thus, 70% of expats feel at home in the British culture, exceeding the global average of less than two-thirds (63%).

Employee of the Month

One of the categories in which the United Kingdom shines is the Working Abroad Index, ranking 17th out of 61 countries. The state of the economy is regarded favorably compared to the global average, with only 7% versus 17% rating it poorly.

Just one in seven participants (14%) view their job security unfavorably, whereas, globally, one-fifth feel the same. According to most respondents (69%), their career prospects in the UK are positive; only 59% feel the same worldwide.

Book Smart

The UK ranks well in the Family Life Index, 17th out of 34. The quality of and options for children’s education in the UK are regarded as great, with positive ratings of 80% and 82% respectively. The global averages are significantly lower at 64% and 69%. Just over three in five expats (63%) also agree that education options are numerous and easily available.

Hardly any expats are unhappy with their children’s well-being and a mere 4% are unsatisfied with family life in the UK in general. However, only about half the respondents (53%) are satisfied with the available childcare options and three in five find them difficult to afford, while, globally, only 35% of survey participants feel the same way.

Faltering Finances

The two times in which the UK fails to make the cut for countries ranked in the top third are the Personal Finance Index and our reverse Cost of Living ranking, where it can be found on position 41 and 42 respectively.

Just 40% of participants are content with the cost of living in general, which compared to the global average of 54%, isn’t top third material. This could, in part, be due to expensive housing. Less than one-third of respondents (30%) agree that housing is affordable, while over half of the survey’s participants globally (50%) feel the same way.

Nonetheless, money matters in the UK are not all below average. The percent of expats who are unhappy with their financial situation is on par with the global average. Furthermore, the percent of those who feel that their disposable income is enough to cover everything they need for their daily life only just misses the global average mark (43% and 45%).