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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Spanish Expats Mainly Move Abroad for Business

Career comes first for most of the Spanish expats - no surprise when seeing their high level of education and the ability to speak several languages.

Muchos Amigos Españoles

The Spanish abroad like to mingle with fellow expats - almost half of the Spanish survey participants (48%) state they have mostly other expats as friends, whereas globally only 34% say so. Among their expat friends, one-fourth are mostly fellow Spaniards and 20% are predominantly from other countries, but speak the same language or share a similar culture. Only about one in nine (11%) claims to have mostly locals from their current country of residence as friends.

Most of the Spaniards abroad meet new people at work (63%), through friends of theirs (60%), and at expat events (38%). Since meeting new people is a lot easier when sharing a language, it is fortunate that the Spanish expatriates have an overall good command of languages - 73% (vs. a global 61%) are proficient in three or more languages. In addition, 37% say they speak the local language of their respective host country very well (global average: 29%), while for 15% of the Spanish expats it's the same as in their home country. As such, the language barrier is only a problem for one-fifth of Spanish expats (21%).

Expat Statistics 2015

Expat statistics on Spaniards abroad - infographic
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Good Education Brings Great Jobs

Spaniards leave their home country for several reasons - some are looking for an adventure (11%), relocate because of a partner's job or education (11%), or even move abroad simply to improve their language skills (4%). However, for almost half (48%) the main reason for the move was related to their work. That explains why the most predominant expat type among Spanish expats is the Foreign Assignee (29%). The majority of the Spaniards abroad (63%) are employees or managers (global average: 47%), while one in ten works in academia, and 8% are currently looking for work.

Compared to the global average, more Spanish expats who work do so full-time (93% vs. 86% worldwide), which seems to be paying off - the income is higher than back home for two-thirds (66%). Furthermore, Spanish expats are very well educated. Almost three-tenths have a Bachelor's degree (29%) and an astonishing 57% graduated with a Master's degree (globally, only 42% have done so), with a further 7% holding a PhD.

Spaniards abroad are also experienced travelers. For only 18% it's their first stay abroad that's longer than three months (global average: 28%), whereas 65% have stayed in up to three foreign countries before. Interestingly, though, only 11% want to stay in their current country of residence forever, compared to one-fourth of expats around the world who would like to put down roots permanently. The largest percentage of Spanish expats (43%) plans to stay in their respective host country between one and five years.

Spanish Love

Among those Spanish expats who are in a committed relationship (58%), circa three out of eight (37%) have a Spanish partner and of these 79% also met before their move abroad. Only one in five of the loved ones (21%) originate from the country where the Spanish survey participants are currently living, and the partners of 42% are neither from Spain nor from their current country of residence.

Three-fourths of the taken Spanish expatriates (74%) met their partner before becoming an expat and 40% of these moved abroad together. All in all, almost seven in ten (69%) are overall happy with their relationship and 36% even say they are completely satisfied.

Further Reading