Top 10 Countries Brits Choose Over the UK
Gathering up your belongings and moving across the globe has never been easier. You can cure mild interludes of homesickness with a quick facetime, easily explore a city with Google Maps, and online translators can kick down any language barriers that stand in your way.
But choosing where to move still proves challenging. Do you see yourself soaking in the sun in the idyllic Italian countryside? Or perhaps you’d be better suited to life in a quaint Canadian town, covered in a perpetual layer of snow.
If you need a little inspiration as to where to jet off to, check out the top 10 countries that Brits move to below. We’ve based our findings on the United Nations’ 2019 data on world immigration.
Once you’ve landed on a new destination, your next challenge will be to move all your things – but this doesn’t have to be as challenging as you might think.
All you have to do is send us a few details about your big move, and our experts will match you with the best shipping quotes.
Data from the United Nations
British expat population (2019): 1,262,204. The land down under has plenty to offer: brilliant cities, picturesque landscapes – not to mention the gorgeous weather!
If you’re thinking of moving to Australia, this enormous chunk of land can offer you more than just the Outback. Perth, on the west coast, is a beautiful city surrounded by bountiful nature reserves and breathtaking coasts. If you’re headed to the east coast, however, you can look forward to the vibrant cultures of Melbourne and Sydney: the two cities most Brits consider before moving to Australia.
If you’re thinking of moving to Australia to further your career, you’ll be pleased to hear of their shorter working hours and ample public holidays. Although you’ll have to adjust to a high cost of living, the high wage rates will most likely cover any expenses. It’s no wonder over a million Brits have decided to call this country their new home!
Want to find out how much it might cost to ship your belongings to Australia? Get an idea with our guide to international shipping costs.
A view of the sun beaming down on the glistening Sydney Habour
2. The USA
British expat population (2019): 716,260. Aside from the handful of delights on offer, Brits are drawn to the USA for one key reason: the similar language. Though you’ll be miles away from home, this familiarity is what comforts some British expats.
Plus, there aren’t many countries that have the extreme temperatures of both Texas and Alaska within their borders. Those looking to relocate to warmer climates can look to Miami, Phoenix, and San Diego, whereas North Dakota, Minnesota, and Alaska will be perfect for people wanting to venture out into the cold.
Despite the familiar culture, the work-life balance in America is much less generous than in Britain. It also might take some time to get used to tipping a lot more than you’re used to, driving on the right side of the road, and being continuously compared to a Harry Potter character.
But what fun would it be to move somewhere exactly the same as Britain?
British expat population (2019): 531,584. As the second largest country in the world, Canada has a lot to offer – it’s much more than just a land of hockey, maple syrup, and gorgeous national parks.
This country’s universal healthcare, safe environment, and excellent education are key reasons why it has quickly become one of the top countries for Brits to emigrate to – with just over half a million people from the UK living in Canada.
The most popular cities, Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, are all hailed as career hotspots, whilst also being suitable for families. But if it’s a quaint life you’re after, Canada is also home to an array of charming towns, with a slower pace of life.
With the width of an entire continent to choose from, we’re certain you can find a part of Canada that suits you.
British expat population (2019): 302,020. So far, the top countries for Brits to move to have all shared the English language, but, sitting in fourth place, Spain is bucking the trend. While a little knowledge of this elegant language may help you along the way, there is a large enough British expat community that you can usually find someone to help you out with a quick translation.
Spain can spoil you with regional charms, streets paved with history, and dishes coated in culture.
You can look forward to excellent quality of life, with work-life balance being one of the top priorities. Plus, if you’re moving with a family, you can rest assured that (on the whole) Spain is a safe country.
So, for those of you looking for something a little closer to home, Spain should be well and truly on the table!
British expat population (2019): 293,061. Ireland has so much to offer: dramatic coastlines, luscious green fields as far as the eye can see, and quaint towns to settle down in.
If you’d rather skip the hassle of sorting out Visas, Ireland might be your next destination. There are no passport controls for Irish and British citizens travelling between the two countries.
Plus, moving to Ireland means finding a new home that's only a stone's throw away from the UK. Whenever you're feeling any bouts of homesickness, you can just catch a cheap plane ride back to the UK – with some tickets as low as £20!
6. New Zealand
British expat population (2019): 272,436. There’s certainly no shortage of reasons to move to New Zealand. If you’re after staggeringly beautiful landscapes and progressive politics, look no further.
The land of the Kiwis has an incredible work-life balance, and was in fact rated 2nd in the world for it. The country’s main cities, Auckland and Wellington, are bursting with work opportunities, with high demand for people with skills in engineering, trades, finance, health, and education.
For those wanting to move to Australia but aren’t able to pass their strict immiration laws, this forward-thinking country is an excellent alternative!
New Zealand's dramatic moutain view, mirrored in the waters of a crystal clear lake
British expat population (2019): 176,672. Famed as the land of fine wine, cheese, art, and culture, France promises a unique experience for British expats. It also offers its residents more intrinsic qualities: a thriving economy, blossoming cities, tranquil countryside, and a top-quality healthcare system.
This historical land is perfect for retirees, young professionals, and families alike. The quality of life is superb for our cross-channel neighbours, with around 30% of French taxes going towards welfare and social funds. Plus, its generous childcare and family allowances make it an excellent option to move with children.
8. South Africa
British expat population (2019): 131,310. Though it might not be the first country to come to mind, South Africa has been climbing the ranks with the British expat community over the past few years.
So what’s winning Brits over? The slower pace of life is enough to get anyone’s approval. The landscape is breathtaking – plus, you’re practically down the road from some of the world’s most impressive wildlife.
Moving to South Africa means you’ll have to adapt to a life without our beloved NHS. But rest assured, private healthcare in this incredible country is on a par with the best in Europe and the States.
You can also look forward to a substantially cheaper cost of living compared to most other countries – although, wages are generally lower to match this.
British expat population (2019): 98,553. The fact that Germany is Europe’s economic powerhouse may not be the main reason Brits are moving there, but it doesn’t hurt. Its thriving job market means a lot of Brits are parting ways with London to relocate to the vibrant city of Berlin.
Of course, living in Germany has lots of other advantages: its varied landscapes, superb beer, art, and cars. A life in Germany will also open up opportunities for more travel. Its location, with nine bordering countries, means that your next trip abroad might be a short car trip away!
British expat population (2019): 65,645. There is a strong pensioner presence in most Italian provinces, especially amongst expats. In fact, Italy is home to 16 million retirees. Its glorious weather, low cost of living, and excellent health care system is what draws in thousands of British pensioners each year.
On the flip side, this prosperous country is also perfect for those after a lively city life. In cities like Milan, Rome, and Turin, you'll find streets full of life, restaurants teeming with customers, and bars bouncing through the night.
There’s a bit of something for everyone in Italy.
A view of a sun-kissed Florence, bathing in the warm sun
Whether you move to somewhere as close as Ireland, or as far as Australia, shipping your belongings can seem like an intimidating task. So, you’ll be glad to hear that our experts can make this process ten times easier.
All you have to do is answer a few questions about your big move, and our suppliers will be in touch with tailored quotes. Before you know it, you’ll be sunning it up on a beach, or walking through crisp blankets of snow.