Top five emigration hot spotsPosted on: 29 September 2010 by Mark O'haire
With grey patches and rain clouds a regular appearance in British skies, it's no wonder an estimated 5.5 million Brits have emigrated.
Almost one in ten of the UK population, many in search of better weather and an improved standard of living have left in search of sunnier climes.
If you're starting to feel the doom and gloom of the coming British winter, here are five emigration hot spots where you can make a sunnier home-from-home.
Australia - cheaper & very cheerful
With an estimated 1.3 million British expats, Australia comes top of the list in popularity for British emigration and ranks highly in world-wide comparisons of quality of life and healthcare, amongst other factors. The climate is overall sunnier than that of the UK with seasonal snow in some places as well, making it a popular destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts. This combined with wide open spaces and breathtaking scenery, makes for a relaxed outdoor lifestyle which is made even easier by the fact the national language is English.
The cost of living is generally lower than that of the UK, with cheaper housing (often with a pool!) being one of the main selling factors. With an average flight time of 22 hours between London and Sydney it's a bit of a trek, but Austravel has competitive fares for flights to Australia to help to bridge the budget for family visits.
Spain - life's a beach
In second place and with a much shorter average flight time of less than three hours, is Spain; also boasting a sunny climate and more relaxed lifestyle than that of the UK. With a high standard of living, plenty of sun-drenched beaches on the coast and a cooler climate and typical Spanish towns inland; life in Spain is good.
You'll need to learn Spanish to really fit in of course, but moving to the Costa del Sol or Costa Blanca should mean you'll also find plenty of Brits to banter with!
South Africa - an adventurer's dream
Another firm favourite with the Brits, South Africa is a multicultural nation and home to some breathtaking scenery and culture waiting to be explored. Desert landscapes with an abundance of interesting wildlife are flanked by sunny beaches and interspersed with vibrant cities; making this country an adventurer's dream. With year-round warm temperatures, cooler nights and English as one of its national languages; South Africa is an easy option for Brits.
Negatives here are the much higher crime rates which are responsible for a strong fence culture and an average flight time of 12 hours to the UK. This hasn't stopped an estimated 200,000+ Brits from emigrating to South Africa and a 2010 study by Mercer revealed the cost of living in the cities of Cape Town and Johannesburg is still considerably lower than in London.
Cyprus - the sunny pensioner's tax haven
A favourite with retirees, Cyprus' main selling point, apart from a fantastic climate, is its generous tax structure for pensioners. There is no Inheritance Tax or Wealth Tax to pay and pensioners also get the choice between a flat five per cent worldwide income tax rate (with a small personal allowance), or a larger �16,261.53 (19,500.00 Euros) annual allowance with tiered rates of tax of up to 30 per cent for income above the allowance.
Combined with a mild Mediterranean climate, cheaper cost of living, easy access to the UK (five hour flight time), plenty of lovely beaches and English-speaking locals; it's no wonder Cyprus is another popular destination for Brits to emigrate to. If you're interested in knowing more about the Cypriot way of life take a look at The Insider's Guide to Cyprus, which is free to download from the Cyprus holidays page on Sovereign.com.
Italy - getting away from it all
Although not as popular with British expats as the above countries, the Mediterranean climate in Italy's peninsular coastal regions certainly classes it as a comfortable hot spot where climate is involved. With a smaller community of British expats, it's also the perfect place to find a different peace and quiet than some of the more popular Brit destinations, but still within a comfortable two and a half hour average flight time from the UK.
There's something for everyone in Italy, from fine food and wine, to endless countryside and plenty of sights for culture vultures. Tuscany is a firm favourite as it combines all of the above in one of the most beautiful regions in Italy. To help with your decision, To Tuscany Villas have a wide selection of villas in Tuscany that are perfect for sampling the Italian lifestyle.
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