Britons to swap grey skies for greener prospects

Article date: 21 April 2011

The temptation for workers to leave the UK for pastures new is stronger than ever according to latest research from Aviva.

The study of 1,000 consumers aged 18–45 indicates that our current culture of austerity has spurred many to consider a move overseas with over half (54%)1 of respondents now saying they would contemplate doing so.

Last year Aviva UK Health revealed that over 5.5 million2 people were considering
mid-term breaks abroad. However this year’s findings show that many believe there could be better long-term prospects outside the UK. A staggering 46% of people are considering a permanent move compared to last year’s 39%. One in five (21%) people remain more cautious and would only be prepared to go for between one and three years.

There is no doubt that the UK economy is playing a role in this trend. Nine out of 10 (89%) respondents believe the last three years has seen a decline in the UK job market, with a further 54% admitting the government cuts have adversely affected their lifestyle. Over half (54%) of people claim this is a key trigger to them considering a move abroad.

The long winter has also taken its toll, with 45% motivated to move abroad by the promise of a better climate. A further 31% believe a healthier, less stressful and more varied lifestyle awaits them, while 33% are hoping for a better quality of work/life balance.

When asked about their concerns, a quarter (25%) were worried they might have worse benefits abroad. And, 37% think they would have less state funded privileges.

Health still appears to be a key concern for people considering a move abroad. Just over a third say the NHS is one of the things they would miss the most. This is compared to a quarter (25%) saying the same last year. Almost a half (46%) of respondents think the UK has better health benefits than other countries worldwide.

This prompted six in 10 (59%) to say that they would factor heath insurance into their planning. By contrast, 38% of people would not arrange any sort of health insurance before they moved.

Teresa Rogers, business lead for International PMI at Aviva said: “When times are tough, it might seem natural to set one’s sights on moving abroad. But our survey shows that there are certainly pros and cons to moving and people need to plan carefully if they are considering making their dream a reality. Health is clearly a primary concern for people and whether you’re thinking of moving abroad for a short time or on a more permanent basis you need to take care to ensure you and your family are always properly protected.

“Healthcare provision varies greatly around the world and even routine medical care can prove costly in countries that don’t offer a similar service to the NHS. Although it’s very encouraging that over half of the people we spoke to would consider taking out international health insurance, over a third (39%) would sort their health insurance out only once they’ve arrived. This could leave them in a difficult position should the worst happen.”

Aviva’s research reveals that the same five countries identified in its 2010 study still remain the re-location destinations of choice:

  1. Australia
  2. America
  3. Canada
  4. Spain
  5. New Zealand.

Other popular destinations include; France, Italy, Dubai, Switzerland and Germany.



1 All statistics are from a nationwide survey of 1,000 British adults, carried out for Aviva by market researchers OnePoll. The opinion poll was hosted online at between 31 March and 5 April 2011 and was available to its registered members.

2 Aviva surveyed 1,500 UK workers aged 18 to 45 through Redshift in March 2010 – of the sample 1,000 workers were aged 18 to 30.

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Amber Chable: Aviva Press Office 
Telephone: 023 80 359 383

Notes to editors:

Aviva is one of the world's largest insurance groups* with 53 million customers worldwide and 46,000 employees.

Aviva’s main activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion*.

In the UK, Aviva takes care of its 19.2 million customers by helping them look after their future, protecting what’s important – from their health to their homes, their cars to their business – and saving for the future.

Aviva has a 10.5%** share of the UK life and pensions market and insures one in six homes and one in 10 cars in the UK. It is also one of the oldest UK insurers, with a heritage stretching back more than 300 years.

RAC, which is owned by Aviva, provides breakdown and insurance services for individuals and businesses and has around seven million customers.

Aviva is carbon neutral worldwide, and is ranked in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally by the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. In the UK, Aviva invested £3.8 million into local communities in 2009. Read our corporate responsibility report at

Aviva’s global Street to School programme is working in partnership with Railway Children in the UK to get children living on the streets back into education and everyday life. Find out more at

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2009

** Source: ABI data released August 2010

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