What are expats really thinking about Brexit?
9 May

What are expats really thinking about Brexit?

ROME — As the referendum on whether the United Kingdom will stay in the European Union fast approaches, The Expat Survey are discovering how British expats are feeling with the Big BreXpat Survey. The first results of the BreXpat survey have been released on the awareness and feelings surrounding the EU referendum in the UK that will be held on June 23, the survey itself can be found at www.theexpatsurvey.com and is open until May 31 to record the sentiments of any British citizen living overseas. The information gathered thus far has shown that 95 percent of those that have taken the survey are aware of their eligibility to vote, whilst 92 percent know that they lose their right to vote after 15 years and a still relatively high percentage of 83 are aware that it is possible to register to vote online. So far 61 percent of those surveyed have registered to vote, with the main reason for those that haven’t being the 15-year rule, making it 68 percent saying that will be voting in Brexit. Of that number 73 percent feel that they are equipped with enough knowledge to make an informed decision when voting. As tensions begin to run high in Britain, it’s no different for Brits living abroad with 72 percent saying they are concerned about the outcome of the referendum. In the meantime 44 percent say they feel anxious, 23 percent betrayed and 11 percent are angry. When directly asked whether or not they wished to remain in the EU, 68 percent said they would like to stay in, whilst 32 percent voted out. The top three scenarios for expats if Britain were to leave the EU were reported to be: 1. Take dual or solo nationality of the country where they are resident. 2. Sell all UK assets and investments held in the UK, and stop paying any tax in the UK system. 3. Reluctantly return to the UK if their financial position deteriorates as a result of the exit. The Big BreXpat Survey is due to close on May 31, at which point the results will be sent to the leaders of each political party, the Electoral Commission and the media. For those who wish to still have their say, the survey can be found at: https://www.research.net/r/Brexit2016. – See more at: http://www.italianinsider.it/?q=node/3860#sthash.u2GwLIKk.dpuf

The Big BreXpat Survey has launched
15 Apr

The Big BreXpat Survey has launched

Its gloves off as world’s largest expat research unit offers UK expats a true voice on Brexit!

Some of the promoted benefits of Britain being a member of the European Union have been freedom of movement, the ability to retire or work overseas with ease within its member states; and to even wholly own freehold assets and other investments.

Whilst Brits at home have been focused on the impact of inbound immigration, security, workplace competitiveness and the stretch on housing and services, who has actually given UK expats around the globe a platform through which they can express their views openly, so that their voices can be truly heard? One place where all their opinions can converge.

Until now, nobody; and this is why the team at TheExpatSurvey.com, the world’s largest and most extensive ongoing research programme of all nationalities residing outside country of origin, has now launched The Big BreXpat Survey , so that UK expats can have their say.

Emma Wood, founding and project director, explains “we feel very strongly about giving UK expats a genuine opportunity to freely and openly express their views on this life-changing matter and for a very good reason. We were recently contacted by a UK Government department and asked if we would be interested in conducting a survey on British expats. Initially we were excited by this proposition, as we believed it would give UK citizens residing overseas the chance to really get their opinions across. However, when we saw the draft survey, we quickly came to realise that all it would be is a politically correct tick box exercise that fails to give expats a true voice”.

It has been a sore point amongst the British expat community for a number of years now that they lose the right to vote after 15 years of being overseas, when many of them have worked for decades paying tax into the UK tax system, often have assets in the UK and may well have plans to continue to invest in the country where they were born. Now those residing in the European Union face a potentially life-changing experience when those entitled to vote go to the polls on 23rd June 2016, but more than a million of them don’t have the right to participate.

“British people were once unreservedly encouraged to embrace all that the European Union stood for, to get out there and make the most of it and so many did. Now there is a cloud of uncertainty over the whole arrangement and the implications for some are huge. Imagine being in a position where you have no say in a process that may dramatically affect the rest of your life and impact significantly on your loved ones; or even if you do have a say the propaganda being pumped out via various forms of media has been engineered to drown out your views. That is not just” says Wood.

“Where our main research programme TheExpatSurvey.com and our quick polls are usually sponsored by corporate partners who are trying to best understand expatriates, to tailor their products and services appropriately, this survey is on us. It’s running at our expense, because we can no longer ignore the strength of feeling that is being communicated to us via unsolicited emails, which clearly indicates the sheer level of frustration they are experiencing. It’s been a long-fought fight for the ‘Votes for Life’ bill to be passed into law and there has been an enormous amount of campaigning for this to be done ahead of the IN / OUT vote, but it hasn’t happened yet. In the words of many expats ‘it’s a stitch up’ and so we want to give them a voice. Our findings will be reported straight back to the leaders of each political party, The Electoral Commission and the media, so we urge as many as possible to get involved”.

The Big BreXpat Survey wants to hear from UK expats living outside the EU, as well as within it. All those that participate benefit from anonymity. The research system does not collect names, addresses, phone numbers etc., only the views of expatriates, unless of course they want to continue a direct dialogue with our team, or to join the project’s international focus group, in which case they can leave their email only.

The Big BreXpat Survey is hosted at TheExpatSurvey.com, where expatriates can also find The Expat Helpdesk. A variety of companies are there to field enquiries from expatriates who may be concerned about the implications of a Brexit, such as International Family Law Group for advice on how family units may be affected, as well as Moore Stephens, Blevins Franks and Churchill & Partners on tax, pensions and investments, subject to where you are residing in the world.

Please direct any enquiries relating to this press release to:

Mark Edwards – Media & PR Director
Max Media International
1 Cobden Court
Wimpole Close, Bromley
Kent, United Kingdom
BR2 9JF

Telephone: +44 (0)20 8464 8787
Email: [email protected]

Global Expat Media Portal Launches
10 Sep

Global Expat Media Portal Launches

The team that brought you The Expat Survey, the world’s only independent research programme of those living outside their country of origin, unveil the Expat Media Hub.

The Expat Media Hub has been established to create the world’s largest index of off and online media serving all those residing abroad; so that no matter where you are in the world or what nationality you are, you can look up whatever media resource is relevant to you.

The Hub will be an active tool and living chart of the movement of the quarter billion who live outside of their nation of origin. This includes media aimed at lifestyle expats, overseas contract and migrant workers, students, high net worth individuals and global nomads.

In a world where global mobility it escalating, the number of all types of expatriates is growing. Maintaining connectivity with your roots, as well as being able to find the information resources you need to empower you in your daily life as an expatriate we know is essential.

The Expat Media Hub aims to bring all these off and online media together in one place to serve all nationalities residing in a foreign land. Search blogs, books, forums, magazines, newspapers, radio stations and shows, Television stations and shows and websites.

If you are a media owner serving foreign nationals and you aren’t already listed in The Expat Media Hub, please contact us today to claim your free micro-site page.

Contact details:

Emma Wood – Project Director
www.theexpatsurvey.com and www.theexpatmediahub.com
[email protected]
+44 (0)20 8464 8787

NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF AMERICAN EXPATS ARE ENTREPRENEURS
26 Aug

NEARLY ONE-THIRD OF AMERICAN EXPATS ARE ENTREPRENEURS

Dgrilla/Shutterstock.com

Americans just love to own their own businesses, whether here in America or in another country. In fact, nearly one-third of American expats are entrepreneurs, according to the Expat Survey 2014, a global study of nearly 8,000 expats living in 128 countries.

As we await the results from the second annual Expat Survey, I thought I would give you a sampling of the some of the findings from last year’s study that were specific to Americans. The study’s research director, Emma Wood, provided these findings.

First and foremost, American expats like to run their own businesses. The study analysis showed that 31.1 percent of those who completed the survey said they were self-employed, and nearly 17 percent said they either owned the business or were a partner. Just over a quarter of those self-employed worked for a family-owned or partially family-owned business.

That tracks with MYIA research a few years ago. We asked American adults who were considering or planning a move abroad why they wanted to move. About 40 percent said they were moving abroad to start a new business. We also know that Milllennials make up the majority of the new American expat generation and are by far the most entrepreneurial generation in decades.

We also learned a few other interesting things about the Americans who responded to last year’s massive expat study:

43 percent said it was their first time abroad
57 percent moved abroad because they wanted a different lifestyle
Quality of life was the #1 reason given when asked why living in their new country is better than living in America
Income taxes topped the list of reasons why living in their new country is worse than living in America (read our article, “FATCA Impacts American Expat Local Banking.”)
Most said they will retain their U.S. citizenship and at some point return home to America
We’ll cover the new results from The Expat Survey 2015 when they become available in September.

The most important nation you’ve never heard of
19 Aug

The most important nation you’ve never heard of

IT’S the fifth-biggest population in the world, and its wealthy and high-achieving population is hugely important for business, politics, travel and education.

Yet we know very little about this group of 232 million people, whose influence and power are often overlooked.

This is the nation of Expatria, the imagined community of expatriates, which has quadrupled in size in the past 25 years. As researchers begin to examine who they are, it’s time to take a close look at what they tell us about our future.

INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE

Many Australian expats are skilled migrants, leaving home for well-paid roles with big companies. Tim Sylow moved from Melbourne to Shanghai with his wife and two young sons in 2002 for a marketing manager job with mining firm BHP Billiton. “We thought we’d bite the bullet,” he told news.com.au. “It was a global company, a promotion and it opened the door for other opportunities. You become quite valuable.”

Tim’s career prospects snowballed. After four years, he moved to Singapore, now with a third child in tow, and then back to Australia before the family headed to Kent, in the southeast of England, as seasoned expats.

Employees with an overseas education and perspective are increasingly important to businesses on every continent as the working environment goes global. And it’s not just corporations that benefit — immigrants meet high demand for skilled workers including bricklayers, tilers, chefs in Australia, while EU migrants often fill gaps in manual industries in the UK.

“Expats bring an international perspective to any culture,” Emma Wood from The Expat Survey, the largest independent research program of its kind, told news.com.au. “They’re often well-travelled, well-educated and they bring a different dimension to the workplace.”

The downside is that countries can end up fighting for employees in industries where there is a shortage, as with the medical profession. That can mean a “brain drain” from poorer countries that cannot pay well but are desperately in need of expertise.

The most important nation you’ve never heard of

Tim and Lisa bring a global influence to their workplace and social lives. Source: Supplied

SPENDING POWER

With trillions of dollars in the bank and specific needs as consumers, expats are of enormous interest to businesses. But it’s very difficult to pin them down, with companies usually unable to distinguish expat from local customers.

That’s starting to change, as rapid improvements in technology make it easier for retailers to target overseas consumers, and they start to recognise the significance of this shift.

Expats frequently want to buy items they love from home, and can become effective brand ambassadors. “A brand with strong recognition goes after the expat community because it knows it will have market penetration and a gateway to the wider market through word of mouth,” said Emma. “A retailer can identify half a million customers within a specific radius.”

Major high street retailers from the UK have directly targeted the British market in Australia and Asia through online and social media ad campaigns. Other companies ship hampers of food to homesick individuals, international grocery stores and supermarkets.

“Food-wise, China was the hardest,” said Tim’s wife Lisa. “And we furnished our house in Shanghai, which was pretty difficult. We were thankful for Ikea. Otherwise, your Chinese has to be pretty good.”

Airlines are also chasing the expat market, who may fly home several times a year and even treat family members to flights to visit them.

The Sylow children have attended school in four different countries.

The Sylow children have attended school in four different countries. Source: Supplied

STRONG NETWORK

Expats tend to form close bonds with people of the same nationality as they navigate an unfamiliar land. This helps them develop a strong voice, giving them political and social power in influencing their new country as well as their peers back home.

“The expat community, particularly in Shanghai, was really supportive,” said Lisa, who won an award for her volunteer work. “It was very family friendly. I volunteered all the time in Asia. We also had coffee mornings, lunches, shopping tours and cultural tours, where you might have a talk about antiques in Shanghai, for example.”

The Sylow family would read online news from Australia, allowing them to develop a close understanding of two cultures at the same time, something that wasn’t possible for expats of previous generations. “It makes you judge your home country more because you see it as an outsider,” added Tim. “The way [Adam Goodes] was treated was absolutely appalling, the treatment of female politicians, public transport is nothing like the UK.”

The fact that expats can vote in their home countries means political parties have to be conscious of how they look to the world. Emigrants can wield tremendous influence thanks to the growth of social media, podcasts, e-books and internet communication.

During the Greek bailout crisis, the country’s expats became sensitive and nuanced arbiters of national opinion for other countries the world.

The imagined state of Expatria shows us our global future. Picture: TheExpatSurvey.com

The imagined state of Expatria shows us our global future. Picture: TheExpatSurvey.com Source: Supplied

KNOWLEDGE POOL

Many expats take small children to a new country and place them in international schools, with 3.7 million studying in English overseas. This is expected to double over the next ten years, making the next generation globally cosmopolitan in a way we have never seen before.

The Sylows say their social life in Singapore revolved around the international school where their children were placed with the help of Tim’s company.

International students in tertiary education are even more influential, numbering around five million, and growing by 10 per cent each year since 2000. It’s creating new east-west connections, as young people from China and India head to western universities, the US being the most popular, and western students going to Asia.

In 2011, Chinese foreign students accounted for eight out of ten international students in Australia.

There are many positives to this movement. Evan Ryan, US Assistant Secretary of State, said international education was “crucial to building relationships between people and communities”, adding that these relationships will help “solve global challengers like climate change, the spread of pandemic, disease, and combating violent extremism.”

There are also risks, however. Leaders of the Indian Independence movement are said to have been “radicalised” by their Oxbridge education, while stories of Western students joining extremists to the Middle East have recently dominated the news.

NEXT GENERATION

The people of Expatria are carving out new pathways through life, enabled by rapid advances in travel, technology and overseas communication. There are wide disparities within this group, however, illustrated by the divide between South Asian migrant workers who build Dubai’s pleasure palaces and the multinational CEOs who occupy them.

Perhaps most significant are the 13 million migrants under nine years old, the so-called “Third Culture Kids” who represent our future. Like migrant adults, they cover the spectrum from those travelling with wealthy expat families to the unaccompanied young immigrants fleeing Central America or Africa.

Their “third culture” is a synthesis of that of their parents and host country, and they are the truest global nomads. These young people face psychological and social challenges, but their understanding of our interconnected modern world cannot be beaten.

Their unique bicultural and bilingual status means they are well-placed to help both their new and old country, where many return. Japan’s third culture kids (Kikokushijo) have posed repatriation difficulties, but have been hailed for a three-dimensional world view that can help its industries tackle globalisation.

Expatria’s children are four times more likely to achieve a Bachelor’s degree than non-expatriates, and more than a third go on to Master’s level study. They are our future.

The Sylows say their free movement around the world has grown more difficult as their children reach high school, but they believe the kids have benefited from seeing far more than most of their peers.

But the family admit they have lost a certain connection with home. “Don’t put stuff in storage and don’t think you’re only going to go for the time you’ve said,” said Lisa. “Ninety per cent of the expats we know have been here longer than seven years. Once you’re an expat, you’re always an expat.”

Visit The Expat Survey to find out more about the research and share your story.

‘Expatria’ the biggest country you’ve never heard of…
5 Jun

‘Expatria’ the biggest country you’ve never heard of…

June 5, 2015 – Expat Survey, Reports and Analysis
Here at the Expat Survey we take ‘expat’ to mean anyone who lives outside of his or her nation of origin for at least six months of any twelve-month period.

There are 232 million people living outside of their nation of origin but what do we actually know about them? Immigrant or expat, tax exile or asylum seeker, estimations vary wildly and the knowledge of a population of almost a quarter of a billion has proven shallow. The Expat Survey conducts independent research that aims to paint a more accurate and textured picture of a constantly changing landscape. To emphasise this dearth in intel, if we took the world’s expatriates and put them in a country, how would that country look and feel?

‘Expatria’ – our imaginary nation of expatriates/immigrants – would have a population of 232 million, rising from 154 million in 1990 and 175 million in 2000, according to UN statistics. This ranks Expatria as the fifth most populous nation on the planet, over three and a half times the number of people in the United Kingdom and sandwiched between Indonesia and Brazil – half the population size of the European Union. Expatria’s population growth rate of over a third since 1990 is matched by Brazil and Indonesia, two of the fastest growing economies worldwide.

The average age of the citizens of Expatria would be 38, being at their average youngest in Africa and oldest in Oceania. UN statistics estimate that 48% of the population would be women and 26 million of the residents aged 65+ years of age and proportionally greater represented than they are in the world population, 11% of the migrant population yet just 8% of the world’s population. Interestingly, 20-34 year olds represent 64 million people and also less females, which can be attributed to the transit of male migrant workers, especially those based in Asia.

The population of Expatria must be considered one of the most diverse on the planet. The largest proportion of people coming from South Asia, accounting for 36 million of the population, with about 19 million migrants living in Europe, some 16 million in Northern America and about 3 million in Oceania. The second and third largest groups coming from Central America and the Caribbean, 17.4 million Central Americans are living in the US.

Measuring the wealth of Expatria is difficult; however remittance figures estimated by the World Bank give some indicator of the economic power of expatriates worldwide. The World Bank estimates $435 billion will be sent in remittance in 2014, outweighing ODA (official development assistance) by a factor of three. Although being a crude comparison, this figure would project Expatria as a top 40 world economy in 2014 if taken as its GDP. This is without considering the estimated wealth of tax exiles to be found in the havens of Switzerland, Luxembourg and the like. A study conducted by economist James Henry suggests at least £13 trillion ($20tn) squirreled away worldwide, which would catapult its ranking amongst the top few.

The citizens of Expatria are workers in a diverse range of fields that have significant economic power. European immigrants (European Economic Area) in the UK have contributed £20bn a year from 2001 to 2011 according to a study conducted by University College, London. Not only are expats economic contributors but work in various sectors. In the case of the UK, The Telegraph states that migrants from within the EU primarily fulfilling manual work, in factories and farming, whilst Non-EU immigrants are prominent in professional roles in health and science.

The population of Expatria equates to 3.2% of the world’s population but what do we really know about them?

The understanding of Expatria is in black-and-white with broad strokes, while the UN suggest a worldwide population of extra-nationals in 232 million, independent research conducted by Finaccord suggests a figure 56 million worldwide in 2014. At least there are estimates for the size of this universe, beyond quantitative figures, little is known of the quality and composition of the lives of expatriates.

This article has highlighted that there is a massive population, globally-based, that people know very little about, and what is by no means concrete. In 2013, The Guardian estimated that ethnic minorities, 14% of the population of the United Kingdom, is not effectively marketed to by businesses, only emphasising the massive Expatria-shaped hole in market intelligence. The findings of the Expat Survey 2013 illuminated that expatriates spend more time on sites from their country of origin rather than sites of their country of residence; 70% still choosing to shop online from native sites. Statistics like these emphasise the inability of business to understand the spending habits of immigrant communities.

The deficiency of information highlights the need for independent research, the need for the Expat Survey. The English historian J. H. Plumb once stated, ‘statistics may give shadow and depth to the picture [yet] they cannot paint it.’ In regards to expatriate understanding, it is The Expat Survey that acts as the brush to paint the market’s landscape, to get the wants of a potential quarter billion understood by relevant and influential business.

Third Culture Kids: our global future?
29 May

Third Culture Kids: our global future?

Who are Third Culture Kids?

In the first exploration into the ‘imagined community’ of Expatria we established some of its key statistical contours, a rudimental mapping of a made-up nation. Its 232 million inhabitants make it the world’s fifth most populous ‘nation’, a population that has quadrupled in the last 25 years. Data provided by the UN and CIA Factbook projected Expatria as a nation befitting the developed world – an average age corresponding to Poland and South Korea and a GDP, although difficult to ascertain using remittance and tax avoidance figures, suiting other better fairing economies.

However, these promising figures are brought together by glaring disparities. Polarisations personified by the divide between the South Asian migrant workers who build the pleasure palaces of Dubai and the multinational CEOs that occupy them.

Third Culture Kids are children who have spent a significant part of their formative years living outside of their parents’ country of origin.

This series aims to investigate all facets of life in Expatria, starting with its future – its children. Young migrants number 34.8 million globally, being proportionally greater in the developing world, which hosts 62% of migrants under 20.

UN data produced in 2010 announced that there are over 13 million global migrants between the ages of 0 and 9, representing a significant proportion of immigrant populations in Africa and Central and South America. Child migration is as popular amongst developing nations as it is between developing and developed nations. Research stemming from the 1950s has conveyed expatriate children, referred to as Third Culture Kids (TCKs), as a unique group of growing global significance. In the Telegraph, Ruth van Reken acknowledged the exponential growth of TCKs and the ‘priceless gifts’ they have to offer.

Third Culture Kids: a border-straddling upbringing

The third culture is inspired by parental cultures and host nation cultures.

Third Culture Kids, the adopted sons and daughters of Expatria, are children who have spent a significant part of their formative years living outside of their parents’ country of origin. Sociologist Ruth Hill Useem’s work, based on her personal experiences of raising a family in India, built the platform for understanding expatriate children as being of a distinct third culture. The third culture is inspired by parental cultures and host nation cultures; the third, a synthesis created in the Petri dish of expatriate life.

Understanding of this border-straddling upbringing, was furthered by Ann Baker Cottrell who defined ‘global nomads’ as children ‘raised in third cultures, cultures which are created and shared by individuals in the process of relating different societies.’

Overseas job opportunities have increased and so have the number of globally-located children, it is estimated that there are as many bilingual children in the world as there are monolingual. In a survey conducted amongst American Adult Third Culture Kids (ATCKs), Expatria’s children were proven highly educated, four times more likely to achieve a Bachelor’s degree than non-expatriates, and over a third go on to Master’s level study.

Third Culture Kids have been a historical mainstay since the dawn of imperialism. The Child Migrant Trust charts the beginning of this movement to 1618 as London-born children were sent to Richmond, Virginia. Writers JG Ballard and Doris Lessing are examples of children of empire and their third culture experiences permeate through their work.

After World War Two and America’s consolidation as a world power, professional migration, globalised companies, international organisations and military outposts expanded the number of school age Americans living overseas, numbering 300,000 in research conducted in 1976. The embodiment of this phenomena is Barack Obama, born in Hawaii and raised in Indonesia and Chicago, now the 44th President of the United States of America.

Kikokushijo

“Aren’t those who actually experienced living overseas better candidates for globalisation than those who have never left Japan?”Yasuo Ichimura

Third Culture Kids of Japanese origin, known as Kikokushijo, have posed both a domestic difficulty and a potential solution to a nation, like all, needing individuals with a three-dimensional worldview. In 2011, the Kikokushijo grew to 780,000 and have been a cause of periodic domestic issues due to their difficulties in re-assimilation. In light of the current global climate, The Japan Times has called for this oft-marginalised group of bicultural and bilingual returnees to assist Japan, as its industries grapple with globalisation. Yasuo Ichimura, a representative of the Japan Foreign Trade Commission, questioned – “aren’t those who actually experienced living overseas better candidates for globalisation than those who have never left Japan?”

The formative make-up of Expatria’s youth appears an identikit for the future – an enriching cross-cultural experience generating an expanded worldview, children that embody the present day. In the globalised twenty-first century TCKs find themselves ‘increasingly relevant in the contemporary interconnected world’, according to Baker Cottrell.

The potential of the bilingual and bicultural is vast, however, the second part of this segment aims to make clear the difficulties and crises that befall children of global movement, an attempt to answer whether the world-faring are destined for world-weariness.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian, Huffington Post, The Independent, International Business Times,
Japan Times, New York Times, The Telegraph, Vice News.
Credit to William Purbrick, Digital and Research Assistant at The Expat Survey.

By The Expat Survey

The Expat Survey engages expats of all nationalities in online, postal, telephone and ‘face-to-face’ focus group research of those living outside their country of origin

How many expats are there?
11 Apr

How many expats are there?

Expatria, the biggest country you have never heard of!
Here we take ‘expat’ to mean anyone who lives outside of their nation of origin for at least six months of any twelve month period.

Verb (used with object), expatriated, expatriating
1) to banish (a person) from his and her native country 2) to withdraw (oneself) from residence in one’s native country 3) to withdraw (oneself) from allegiance to one’s native country
There are 232 million people living outside of their nation of origin but what do we actually know about them? Immigrant or expat, tax exile or asylum seeker, estimations vary wildly and the knowledge of a population of almost a quarter of a billion has proven shallow. The Expat Survey conducts independent research that aims to paint a more accurate and textured picture of a constantly changing landscape. To emphasise this dearth in intel, if we took the world’s expatriates and put them in a country, how would that country look and feel?

Welcome to Expatria
An expatriate (sometimes shortened to expat): is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country other than that of the person’s upbringing. The word comes from the Latin terms ‘ex’ (out of) and ‘patria’ (country, fatherland).‘Expatria’ – our imaginary nation of expatriates/immigrants – would have a population of 232 million, rising from 154 million in 1990 and 175 million in 2000, according to UN statistics. This ranks Expatria as the fifth most populous nation on the planet, over three and a half times the number of people in the United Kingdom and sandwiched between Indonesia and Brazil – half the population size of the European Union. Expatria’s population growth rate of over a third since 1990 is matched by Brazil and Indonesia, two of the fastest growing economies worldwide.
The average age of the citizens of Expatria would be 38, being at their average youngest in Africa and oldest in Oceania. UN statistics estimate that 48% of the population would be women and 26 million of the residents aged 65+ years of age and proportionally greater represented than they are in the world population, 11% of the migrant population yet just 8% of the world’s population. Interestingly, 20-34 year olds represent 64 million people and also less females, which can be attributed to the transit of male migrant workers, especially those based in Asia.

A diverse population
The population of Expatria must be considered one of the most diverse on the planet. The largest proportion of people coming from South Asia, accounting for 36 million of the population, with about 19 million migrants living in Europe, some 16 million in Northern America and about 3 million in Oceania. The second and third largest groups coming from Central America and the Caribbean, 17.4 million Central Americans are living in the US.

Measuring the wealth of Expatria is difficult; however remittance figures estimated by the World Bank give some indicator of the economic power of expatriates worldwide. The World Bank estimates $435 billion will be sent in remittance in 2014, outweighing ODA (official development assistance) by a factor of three. Although being a crude comparison, this figure would project Expatria as a top 40 world economy in 2014 if taken as its GDP. This is without considering the estimated wealth of tax exiles to be found in the havens of Switzerland, Luxembourg and the like. A study conducted by economist James Henry suggests at least £13 trillion ($20tn) squirreled away worldwide, which would catapult its ranking to the top of the table.

The citizens of Expatria are workers in a diverse range of fields that have significant economic power. European immigrants (European Economic Area) in the UK have contributed £20bn a year from 2001 to 2011 according to a study conducted by University College, London. Not only are expats economic contributors but work in various sectors. In the case of the UK, The Telegraph states that migrants from within the EU primarily fulfilling manual work, in factories and farming, whilst Non-EU immigrants are prominent in professional roles in health and science.

The population of Expatria equates to 3.2% of the world’s population but what do we really know about them?

The understanding of Expatria is in black-and-white with broad strokes, while the UN suggest a worldwide population of extra-nationals is 232 million, independent research conducted by Finaccord suggests a figure 56 million worldwide in 2014. At least there are estimates for the size of this universe, beyond quantitative figures, little is known of the quality and composition of the lives of expatriates.

This article has highlighted that there is a massive population, globally-based, that people know very little about, and what is by no means concrete. In 2013, The Guardian estimated that ethnic minorities, 14% of the population of the United Kingdom, is not effectively marketed to by businesses, only emphasising the massive Expatria-shaped hole in market intelligence.

The findings of the Expat Survey 2013 illuminated that expatriates spend more time on sites from their country of origin rather than sites of their country of residence; 70% still choosing to shop online from native sites. Statistics like these emphasise the inability of business to understand the spending habits of immigrant communities.

The deficiency of information highlights the need for independent research, the need for the Expat Survey. The English historian J. H. Plumb once stated, ‘statistics may give shadow and depth to the picture [yet] they cannot paint it.’ In regards to expatriate understanding, it is The Expat Survey that acts as the brush to paint the market’s landscape, to get the wants of a potential quarter billion understood by relevant and influential business.

Sources: CIA Factbook, UN, The Guardian, The Telegraph, UCL, The Expat Survey 2013, Finaccord.
Credit to William Purbrick – digital and research assistant for The Expat Survey.

By The Expat Survey

The Expat Survey engages expats of all nationalities in online, postal, telephone and ‘face-to-face’ focus group research of those living outside their country of origin

Have you filled in The Expat Survey yet? Visit www.theexpatsurvey.com to have your say and be in with a chance of winning £2000!