Most Popular EU Countries for British Retirees Are Revealed



France, Germany and Spain are the most popular EU countries for British expats, with recent official figures showing that 69 per cent of British citizens living in the European Union are based in these three countries.

The data from the ONS shows that 785,000 lived in EU nations in 2017 with two thirds of them aged 15 to 64.

However, more retired people now live in Spain than any other EU country.

But the EU is not the most popular place worldwide for British people moving to live and work abroad – 33 per cent of all British born emigrants living outside the UK in 2017 lived in Australia or New Zealand and 28 per cent lived in the United States or Canada.  In total, 26 per cent lived in the EU.

The figures also show that more British men live in the EU than women (53 per cent are male).

A breakdown of the figures in those three dominant EU countries shows that 37 per cent of British EU residents are in Spain, 19 per cent in France and 12 per cent in Germany.

When looking at age, 66 per cent are aged 15 to 64, 26 per cent aged 65 and over.

Comparing this to the population of the UK, according to the 2016 population estimates 64 per cent were of working age, 18 per cent were aged 65 and over. This appears to show that the population living abroad features more retirees than the general population of the UK.

Age composition of British citizens within each country varies. The highest proportions of British citizens aged 15 to 64 years, are in Finland and the Czech Republic. But British citizens aged 15 to 64 years do outnumber those in older age groups in all countries of the EU.

The data also shows that many British citizens spend their retirement in sunny southern European countries (no surprise there!) with 41 per cent of the British population in Spain and 39 per cent in Portugal aged 65 years and over. Other countries with a high proportion of people aged 65 years and older were Bulgaria, Malta and Cyprus.

For British citizens living in France, 19 per cent were aged 65 years and over, 68 per cent were aged 15 to 64 and a relatively large proportion. More British children (those under 15) live in France than anywhere else in the EU, accounting for 34 per cent of British children living in the EU.

Trudi Hayes

The Author

Trudi Hayes

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