Almost five million British expats are now living and working abroad, helping to shape the communities they live in, according to the fifth annual NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index.
The report, compiled in conjunction with the Centre of Future Studies, says that British expats have become ‘unofficial expat ambassadors’ shaping the global knowledge economy by promoting values to their host countries.
Australia with 1.4 million, Spain with 940,000 and the United States with 794,000 are the top three most popular destinations for British expats. Canada has 630,000, South Africa 237,000 and France 225,000.
Other popular destinations are the United Arab Emirates with 64,000, Singapore with 49,000, Portugal with 47,000, and China (including Hong Kong) with 38,000.
Technology and management consultancy jointly followed by manufacturing and financial services are the top three industries that British expats operate in.
It seems counter-productive in today’s globalised economy that successive British governments have continued to deprive these “unofficial expat ambassadors” of their national right to vote after 15 years abroad.