Today’s expat Brit: Young, female, temporary

The profile of the typical expat Brit has changed dramatically over the last few years, according to the latest study of expats carried out on behalf of NatWest International Personal Banking.

According to NatWest’s latest Quality of Life Index  report – the eighth in as many years – the number of UK adults living abroad “temporarily”, as opposed to indefinitely or permanently, has increased by 265% since 2011. This has meant that such temporary expats now account for more than half, or 54%, of the total, the NatWest IPB research reveals.

At the same time, the percentage of expats who are young, defined here as aged between 25 and 35, has been rising, to the point where that age group now accounts for more than one in four of all Britons living outside of the UK.

The number of female expats has also been growing steadily over the past seven years, and there are now more than twice as many as in 2011, which the NatWest IPB survey researchers said reflects the fact that more women are beginning to “take managerial roles overseas to boost their careers”.

“While the traditional picture of an expat has long been [of] a retiree enjoying their later years in the sun, the Quality of Life Index has seen a significant shift in the type of UK adult choosing to live abroad,” NatWest IPB said in a summary of its research findings.

“Work, rather than play, makes up the motivation for more expats than ever before, as there has been a 265% increase since 2011 of ‘temporary expats’, those who move abroad for a work assignment, with the intention of returning eventually.

“This increase is in stark contrast to the proportion of ‘permanent’ expats which has halved since 2011 (from 72% to 33%).”

The Quality of Life study was carried out for NatWest IPB between May and June of last year by the Centre for Future Studies. It surveyed some 2,647 expatriate Britons. NatWest IPB is registered in Jersey, and is a member of the Edinburgh-based Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

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