OVER the next five years, one million Britons, driven by booming house prices and the strong pound, will join the 5.5 million currently living abroad with Spain and the Balearics the second most popular destination for emigrates. According to new research, published by the Institute for Public Policy Research yesterday, there are 760'000 Britons (74'636 pensioners) living here in Spain, 990'000 including part time British residents. Only Australia has more British residents, 1.3 million to be exact.
Britain has more people living abroad than almost any other country, according to the reports and, apart from the 5.5 permanent overseas residents, half a million Britons live overseas for part of the year. One in ten Britons now lives abroad and that a British national emigrates every three minutes primarily for economic reasons and not, as the report has discovered, because they think the country has gone to the dogs. Danny Sriskandarajah, the associate director of the IPPR said when the going is good, Brits get going. A healthy economy at home, especially when house prices are buoyant and the pounds is strong, makes it easier to up sticks and move abroad. From Australia to Zambia, Brits are looking for a better job, a better quality of life or a sunny retirement. Very few leave because they think the country has gone to the dogs. However, the report has also discovered that one of the biggest barriers Britons encounter settling into an overseas community is the inability to speak the local language. But, on the one hand, less than one in four retired Britons living on the Costa del Sol, for example, can not speak Spanish, on the other, almost three out of four retired Britons living in Tuscany speak Italian. What is more, Spain, along with Saudi Arabia, is where Britons flock together more.
The report's findings will make good reading for the Balearic property market which has seen a marked increase in the number of Britons moving to the islands over the past few years. However, the Balearics also faces growing competition from new destinations and an increasing number of Britons, especially professionals and those looking for better employment, are heading to the major Asian economic zones. The five growth areas are the UAE, Dubai in particular, Pakistan, Singapore, Thailand and China.
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