Moving to Spain from the UK [Infographic]
Spain is the third most popular destination for British expats, who are seduced by the romance, beauty, gorgeous weather and excellent standard of living that this Mediterranean haven has to offer. And with all these attractions available so close to the UK, it’s no wonder so many Britons are making Spain their home; though with Brexit round the corner, the future of this trend is now uncertain.
Top 8 Countries Brits Move To:
An estimated 5 million plus Britons have flown the nest and are currently settled overseas. Whilst annual numbers of expats have dropped since 2010, over 100,000 Britons each year are still making the move abroad. Whilst some go to live with family or to pursue a career, others leave simply to seek peace, tranquility, and a laid-back way of living that’s rarely found in the busy British Isles.
It’s easy to see why these destinations have made the UK’s wishlist. All these countries that secure the top spots share similar traits; civilised, democratic, liberal, breathtaking landscapes and seascapes, and great opportunities for both work and play. Currently, economic stability is also on everyone’s minds, and these countries offer a strong economy and high standard of living for a much lower price than the UK. Another major draw of these nations is favourable climate, attracting expats from the rainy British Isles with promises of sunshine all year round.
Spain has all these advantages, but with the added bonus of being located much closer to home than first and second placed Australia and USA. But what is it about Spanish living that’s so attractive to Britons?
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Most Popular Spanish Regions For Brits:
Spain comes top of the list as the most popular European destination for British expats, with an estimated 310,000- 380,000 Brits already calling it home. Brexit may have an unpredictable effect on these figures, depending on the migration deals reached between the two countries.
The biggest populations of British expats by region, include:
Valencia – 82,214
Andalusia – 63,472
Canary Islands – 24,742
Balearic Islands – 14,744
Region of Murcia – 9,564
Other communities – 9,564
Community of Madrid – 6,650
12 Quirky Facts About Spain:
Spanish is the second most widely spoken language on the planet, sandwiched between Mandarin in the top spot, and English in third place. The over 400 million speakers can be found far and wide, residing in Spain, Central America, South America and Equatorial Guinea.
The first modern novel has been attributed to a Spaniard called Miguel de Cervantes, who authored Don Quixote 402 years ago, in 1605. This masterpiece follows the life of a delusional man who begins a life of knightly adventure, and is considered one of the greatest works of fiction ever written.
Olive oil is a kitchen cupboard staple of most homes, but did you know that Spain produces 43% of the planet’s olive oil? The majority of production occurs in the Andalusia region, produced from millions of trees grown across millions of acres.
The Spanish equivalent of the tooth fairy is a mouse called Ratoncito Pérez, who replaces children’s teeth with money or a small gift.
As the clock strikes midnight on New Year, most Spaniards will be eating a grape with each chime of the clock, leaving participants with a full mouth and good luck for the coming year.
Used napkins and toothpicks can be found littering the floors of bars across Spain. This is considered completely normal behaviour, and often is a sign of a good quality bar.
Traditionally, Spaniards take two surnames e.g. ‘Sánchez López’. The first surname is the father’s first surname, and the second surname is the mother’s first surname. Spanish women also tend to keep their own surname once married.
Spain has produced some of the greatest artists, from Baroque legend, Diego Veláquez, to the Surrealist masters, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.
The Spanish are not only football mad, but are also very successful at the sport. The national team topped FIFA’s world rankings for 5 years running, from 2008 – 2013, whilst local team, Real Madrid, is the planet’s highest earning football team with estimated annual earnings of over half a billion Euros.
Brave or mad? The famous ‘running of the bulls’ has become a highlight the Fiesta de San Fermín, held in Pamplona to commemorate the city’s patron saint. With 15 fatalities and thousands of injuries since its inception, this activity is not for the faint-hearted.
Passing through the town of Buñol in August, you may find yourself caught in the crossfire of the annual tomato-throwing festival, La Tomatina, which is still going strong after 70 years. It first began as a political protest, and has since grown into a huge event held purely for entertainment.
For a dynamic, colourful festival, none can beat Valencia’s Fallas Fiestas and the Hogueras of Alicante. The event’s trademarks are the colossal papier-mâché figures, depicting popular or imaginary characters, which are then burned at the end of the festival.
5 Biggest Reasons Brits Move to Spain:
Good Weather: Spain enjoys a mostly Mediterranean climate, meaning sunshine is aplenty. Mountainous regions experience lower temperatures, and higher rainfall and snowfall.
Low Cost of Living: Spain is 30-40% cheaper to live in than the UK. Food, groceries, transport, childcare, rent, and utilities can all be secured for less, leaving you with spare cash to play with. The only anomaly is clothing, which is more expensive in Spain.
Excellent Health Care: The Spanish healthcare system is ranked 7th place by the World Health Organisation. State healthcare is free, even for expats, and is generally paid for by social security deductions from your wage.
Close to UK: A quick flight time of 2 – 3 hours makes it easy and cheap to visit family or return home in the case of emergencies.
Similar Cultural Values: Shared values include democracy, freedom of speech, monarchy, equality (and partying!)