If you are thinking of moving overseas, but haven't yet decided on your final destination, moving to Canada could be a great choice, as it offers excellent living standards, even in the current global economic climate. Canada has topped the latest Quality of Life Index of Natwest International Personal Banking for the third year running.
According to Natwest's survey, Canada is number one for quality of life and expats have mentioned the multicultural society, the Canadian health care system, Canada's human rights and freedoms and its natural beauty as key factors in their decision.
Canada also topped the Well Being Index, which consist of a range of self-assessment categories, including life satisfaction, sense of achievement, prosperity and health. Since the survey began in 2007, Canada has claimed the top place for the third time. New Zealand came second, Australia third, and France fourth, while the UAE has advanced from tenth to sixth position.
Despite the global economic crisis, more than 65% of expats have not reported a reduction in their living standards and are generally positive about their finances. British expats living in the UAE, China, Singapore and Hong Kong have reported a dramatic improvement in their financial situation, and those living in Australia, Canada and New Zealand have also emphasised that their financial situation improved significantly since moving abroad.
Head of International Personal Banking at Natwest, Dave Isley commented on the financial optimism of expats: "Our Quality Of Live Index – which examines expats' real life perceptions and experiences and gauges their personal assessment – shows the global financial crisis has failed to dampen the spirits of expats who seem to have adopted the 'keep calm, carry on' philosophy."
Those living in Western Europe, the USA and South Africa reported that their finances have improved moderately, while expats from Spain, Portugal and France were less enthusiastic about their financial situation, saying that their disposable income has been somewhat eroded as living costs continue to rise.
Although expat prosperity levels have remained consistently high in most countries, those rating themselves as 'very prosperous' fell from 17% to 7% and 44% of expats reported that they are more consciously watching spending on luxury items as opposed to only 17% in 2007.
Canada can be a great destination to move to for British expats. It has many cultural similarities, English is one of its official languages, and as seen from Natwest's survey, it offers great expat quality of life. While the economic recession affected Canada as well, the country still boasts a strong economy, a very high per-capita income and is ranked among the world's wealthiest nations.