Should I Stay or Should I Go?
The definitive guide to moving abroad and whether it's right for you

The Hotspots

This is a preview to the chapter The Hotspots from the book Should I Stay or Should I Go? by Paul Allen.
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Where are the most popular destinations then?

Using State Department estimates, the Association of Americans Resident Overseas reckons Mexico is home to the largest number of Americans living outside the US. Canada is the second most favoured location. Given their geographic proximity and cultural ties that comes as no particular surprise.

There are sizable populations in many European countries too. Indeed, the AARO website says the latest US State Department figures estimate there are a total of almost 1.5 million Americans living in Europe, not far behind the numbers that live in all of North and Central America (ex the US of course!).

As for the United Kingdom’s diaspora, more than 40 countries can boast (if that’s the right word) a population of at least 10,000 British citizens.

Nevertheless, the majority congregate in a handful of location hotspots.

Traditionally, the most popular destinations have been the old settler colonies with which the UK had historic ties: Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.

More recently though Britain’s European neighbours – in particular Spain, France and Portugal – have become more of a draw, as people take advantage of the benefits offered by European Union integration and the wealth of cheap flight options that have become available.

Indeed, the latest Office for National Statistics figures reveal that the majority of British citizens that emigrated abroad in 2007 went to one of five countries: Australia, Spain, New Zealand, the US or France, of which Australia continues to be by far the most popular each year1.

Meanwhile, research from Royal Bank of Scotland International found that among pensioners – a massive 31 percent of whom have considered moving abroad – New Zealand was the top choice. Australia was second, followed by Canada.

As for the ippr survey, it found three-quarters of all British expatriates were in just 10 countries: Australia, Spain, the States, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Germany and Cyprus.

So given these preferences, let me whet your appetite with an overview of some of the world’s expatriate hotspots and why they continue to be so popular.
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