More British people than ever before
want to turn dreams of a foreign life into reality, suggests a poll for
the BBC News website.
The number of people hoping to emigrate in the near future
has doubled in three years, according to the results.
13% of respondents said they wanted to emigrate in the near future, compared to 7% of people who responded to a similar poll conducted in 2003 by ICM.
Among young people the figure is even higher with a quarter of 18 to 25 year olds saying that they would move abroad if they could.
The top reason given by over a third of respondents was wanting a better quality of life. And despite the recent heatwave, just under a third still look to living abroad for an improvement in the weather. Almost a quarter think that Britain is too expensive.
The main reason preventing Britons moving abroad is their family, say 43% of
respondents. Only one in five said they liked Britain too much to leave.
Overall the majority of people who responded to the survey, 54%, said they have considered emigrating at some stage.
That ties with most recent Office of National Statistics figures for Febuary 2006 which showed a record number of people - 359,000 - leaving the UK in 2004, up a third on 10 years ago.
When asked for their thoughts about emigration, respondents said the following (they could indicate more than one answer)
- I have considered emigrating in the past 35%
- I would consider emigrating 37%
- I might consider emigrating 43%
- I am hoping to emigrate in the near future 13%
- I would not consider emigrating 46%
Reasons why people would emigrate:
Better quality of life 37%
- Better weather 32%
- Britain is too expensive 24%
- New Job etc 13%
- Don't like what Britain has become 12%
- Have family/friends there already 9%
What reasons would stop you going?
- Like Britain too much 21%
- Financial worries 11%
- Age worries 9%
- Eligibility/Ability to find work 10%
Which countries would you go to?
- Spain 31%
- Canada 31%
- NZ 22%
- USA 21%
The poll was conducted by ICM and commissioned as part of a project - Brits Abroad - looking at the number of ex-pats who have left the country and started new lives overseas.
The BBC News website will tell the stories behind
these people and the places they now call home. The site will also
publish research data on emigration that the The Institute of Public
Policy Research (IPPR) are compiling for the first time over the
The BBC would like to hear from people who have stories to tell about their,
or their families', emigration experiences. Go to bbc.co.uk/britsabroad for
Notes to Editors
ICM Research interviewed a random sample of 1002 adults aged 18+ by telephone between 28-30th July 2006.
Interviews were conducted across the country and the
results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. ICM is a
member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further
information at www.icmresearch.co.uk
The poll conducted by ICM in 2003 was for BBC ONE's Get a New Life programme.