British Expats Living Abroad Are Happiest in Spain

Posted by on Feb 17, 2012 in live abroad, moving abroad | 2 Comments

Recent research carried out by Lloyds TSB International has revealed that British expats who have made new lives for themselves in Spain are the happiest of any expat group.

The company questioned a number of expats to find out what their experiences were of living abroad, and when it came to overall happiness, 75.9% of those expats living in Spain said that they were happier than when they were living in the UK, which was higher than any other destination.

Altea, Spain © by A Roger Davies

This compares to a total figure of 68% of all expats who said that they were happier living abroad than they were back in the UK. Other countries which did well for expat happiness levels were Canada and Germany.

Quality of Life

The survey took in other factors, one of which was quality of living. In this category it was New Zealand which triumphed, with 79% of expats saying that their standard of living had improved since moving. Australia followed close behind with 77%.

Why So Happy?

The survey did not go into details about why people living in Spain were so happy compared to other countries, but there are probably a number of reasons.

Spain enjoys much more sunshine than the UK throughout the year, and this has to be one of the main reasons. Many expats probably choose to live near to a beach and during the summer months the lifestyle is likely to involve being outdoors a lot which suits many people down to the ground.

At the same time, Spain is not too far from home so they can pop back on a cheap flight when they want to, and there is also a large expat community in the country so there is probably a lot to offer for anyone who is feeling homesick.

What About Work?

Of course, there is always the question of what to do to make money. Many expats are undoubtedly retired as Spain makes for an excellent place to live once you are not working.

However, many other Brits are able to work in Spain relatively easily because it is part of the EU, and there are a number of jobs in the tourism industry which require English speakers.

On top of that, there is also the possibilities of online work. Because Spain is in a similar timezone to the UK, it is easy to work with clients back in the UK without any time issues. This can sometimes become an issue for people working in Australia or the far east where the time difference can be too great, but in Spain and other European countries it does not have to play such a large role.

Head to Spain and Be Happy

If you think that you might be able to enjoy a happier life abroad then Spain could prove to be the ideal place to head to. Because it’s not too far away you may want to go on an extended holiday here to check it out before making any decisions. But if so many other expats are saying that living there makes them happy, perhaps you should give it a try too?

Have you signed up as a member of LWA yet? Keep up to date with our favourite resources for starting a new life abroad. 


  1. Gourmet Hampers Australia
    February 22, 2012

    I agree that New Zealand would offer a great lifestyle – less densely populated, great people, easy access to infrastructure. You’re crazy to still be living in the UK – get a pass and get out here asap, it’s lovely, and with your accent you’ll easy get a job in sales!
    Nice blog thanks for sharing…

    • Phil Byrne
      Phil Byrne
      February 23, 2012

      Thanks for that comment positively promoting life in NZ! Good to know our accents will stand us in good stead, however I’m not sure my Cumbrian dialect is quite what the world has in mind when defining a British sound!


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