While expats in the UK and Europe are labouring under worries about economic volatility these concerns are not bothering them enough to prompt a move, according to the 2012 Expat Explorer survey by HSBC Expat.
Worries are certainly running high among expats in the UK, as 36 per cent believe that the UK is “heading off on the wrong track” – a figure which is nearly double the global survey average of 19 per cent. Similarly, 68 per cent of expats living in the UK feel unhappy with the current state of the economy, versus 37 per cent for expats globally.
Despite these worries, a significant majority (71 per cent) of the UK’s expats indicate that they are staying for the long-haul, while only 7 per cent say they are actively looking to leave. In contrast, this figure is 13 per cent globally. For those looking to move away from the UK the rising cost of living was cited by close to half of those surveyed (48 per cent) and the negative economic outlook was singled out by 44 per cent. Globally, the equivalent figures were 35 and 20 per cent.
Interestingly, even more “stickiness” to their adopted country was seen among expats in Spain. While a massive 92 per cent of those surveyed said they were unhappy with the state of the Spanish economy HSBC found expats in the country to be the least likely to be planning a move “with no expats from the survey actively looking to leave the country.”
“While expats in Europe are feeling the impact of the economic turbulence that has taken hold across much of the eurozone, this year’s findings show they have strong ties to their current country of residence. Wider concerns, such as the current state of the economy, appear to have had little effect on their desire to continue living and working there,” said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat.