Emigration abroad: Would you?

April 16, 2012, 9:25 AM GMT+0

If you wanted to experience a new way of life, learn a new language, or seek an alternate lifestyle, perhaps you have considered moving to a new country. If you’re British through and through, a strong patriot and someone who appreciates keeping family close, you may not have considered emigration an option.

We asked what participants thought about the idea of emigration, and what- if anything - might motivate them to make the decision to leave the UK.

With high unemployment and economic insecurity an on-going problem in the UK, moving abroad to find the perfect job, adventure or a new lifestyle could seem like an increasingly attractive option for many. Despite the potential benefits, however, emigration from the UK is allegedly at a five-year low.

Would you ever consider leaving the UK for an alternative lifestyle?

Among those who see emigration as an attractive option, economic factors played a major role, as did a perceived decline in living standards in the UK leading many to note the appealing range of opportunities available elsewhere. Spain and France were among the favourite destinations, but Australia came out on top, with many citing the improved weather, lifestyle and opportunities available ‘down under.

Those who said they wouldn't consider leaving the UK tended to acknowledge the current economic problems, but have faith things would improve, believing that there are still many benefits to living in Britain, such as friends, family and generally just feeling ‘British’.

Would you consider leaving the UK? What would be your country of choice, and why? Join the debate by using Disqus below

Here's what our poll participants had to say...

1. Emigration: a positive option

Argument 1: Poor employment conditions in the UK

The job situation is terrible. I am very well qualified but do not have the money or connections to be able to pin a job down. For those who are over 50 and currently jobless, it seems as if we have been abandoned completelyMark, Glasgow

“I would move in order to stay in full time employment. Am only able to get short term contracts in the UK, while the industry I work brings in an average of 95,000 foreign workers a year” CC, Lanarkshire

“I am aged 20 and there are simply not enough jobs to go around. I protest, I voice my anger, but the only real act of dissent left open to me is to move abroadAnon

Argument 2: More varied lifestyle opportunities elsewhere

“With a young family, I want to move to a young country which offers opportunity and a better climate for outdoor activitiesAnon

“I think that it would be a wonderful opportunity for our children to experience new cultures and environments” Anon

“I want to work either in the financial or the diplomatic sectors and I feel I would be better off and better suited to working as an expatriate than for the domestic sectors in the UK” Matt, Chester

Argument 3: Dissatisfying standard of living in the UK

“I feel betrayed and very let-down by the Government in this country. I feel that I am trying to deal with the tough economic climate as best as I can but am struggling because of things that I had no hand in and am powerless to controlBea, Sussex

“Britain has become a nation epitomised by overpriced goods and services, poor service, and ever-increasing demands on the shrinking productive elements of society to pay for those that aren't” Anon

“I believe the recent riots were an insight into the future of this country” Colin M, Newcastle

“I just feel that the country is on a downward spiral that I don’t believe can be reversed. I am sad that my children are going to have to be brought up in these horrible times” M J Green

Argument 4: Wanting to retire somewhere idyllic

“Retiring to a better lifestyle and health service” Mike, Bristol

“I fancy a retirement somewhere less ToryAnon

“It is too expensive to try to keep warm here when getting old. Also people will always treat me as an outsider, even though I have lived and worked here for over 23 years. I want to feel belonging when getting old and frailAnnie, Wales

I do not feel safe here, the NHS is not looking after elderly people- they are being pushed aside like rubbish bags” Anon

2. Emigration: not an option

Argument 1: Family & friends in the UK

“I couldn't move away from my family/ friends - it wouldn't be fair to themAnon

“I would consider it if I was married to someone who had the opportunity to go but my husband would not enjoy living abroadLucy, London

“I have my family here and want to see my grandchildren grow upMadge

My family are all within a five mile radius. I could not bear to live far away from my daughters and grandchildren” Sheena, Central Scotland

Argument 2: Sense of belonging and pride in Britain

“I was born here. I've shed blood for this country with the forces. I'm a Brit” Anon

“I am very proud and patriotic to be British, and no matter what state our nation gets into, I will never leavePeter B, Cornwall

Scotland's in my bones - the accents, the weather, the general outlook of my people, our countryside, coasts and mountains. Its home” Anon, Scotland

Argument 3: The UK isn't a bad place to live

Freedom, great cities, countryside, great TV, entertainment industry, the people and the NHSAnon

Personal security and healthcare are superior within the UK when compared to other countries. Additionally the UK remains a most liberal and tolerant countryAnon

Although we are having things rough at the moment, that’s due to the people that have been running things, not the country itself. Other countries all seem to have their own problems, so why up sticks?” Barbara, Chelmsford

Thinking of emigrating? Participants pick their most popular countries

1. Australia

“[Because of the] job opportunities primarily, and also the government attitude ‒ particularly about crime. Weather a bonusBert, Fife

“The young are better socially adjusted. There are better facilities and the more senior citizens are better cared forTJ, Cumbria

“The Australian approach to life is so much more laidbackAnon

2. France

“Because of the French attitude to life generally. Also, the people still have a say as to their country’s direction” Peter, Surrey

“Because of the consensus on social solidarity and secularism, the quality of life and the quality of food and drink” ‘Vieillard’, Durham

“It’s huge, with loads of space; the [low] price of property and amount of land available for the [low] price; people are polite to each other and the French stand up to the EU more than the UK does” Anon

3. Spain

“Because it has a better climate and lower taxes on goods, particularly some goods which are highly taxed in the UK (alcohol, fuel)” Mike T, Shropshire

“It's more family orientated, benefits as needed not as a right” Anon

“It has warmer weather, firmer justice, government policy and short flight back to visitAnon

4. USA

“It seems more relaxed in the state of Florida, which is where I want to go. More hours of sunshine ‒ and with the exception of the odd tropical storm, better weather” Anon

“The land of opportunity” Bry, Durham

Variety. Skiing in Colorado, gambling in Las Vegas, sunbathing in Miami ‒ you get the idea” Anon

5. Canada

It provides a good prospect of generating wealth through hard work and opportunity, in an environment that is healthier” Rudolph, Perth

“I have found that in my field of employment I can earn a lot more money there, and also the cost of living is much cheaper there than here” Ali, Kent

“Canada is vast, has wonderful scenery and plenty of extreme sports - the people are also generally lovely” Anon

Would you consider leaving the UK? What would be your country of choice, and why? Join the debate by using Disqus below

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