A new survey by London-based Max Media International finds that over 70 percent of expats say they intend to remain living outside their country of origin, suggesting that most expats will remain expats. An additional 22 percent say they are considering moving to another country.
Based on over 5,000 responses from expats in 110 countries, the “Migration and Lifestyle” study is the first in a series of three surveys that will be conducted annually. “Retail and Finance” and “Travel and Health” studies are live on the company’s website for expat participation.
We chatted briefly with Max Media’s Managing Director Stuart Smith about the studies.
“The purpose of launching these annual expat surveys is to get detailed insights from those outside their country of origin,” Smith Said. “Our initial survey examined where expats live and are moving, why they are expats, when they became expats and their lives now in their new communities. The survey takes about 20 minutes, but we had respondents take up to 50 minutes to tell us about what they like and dislike about their adopted homes. Apparently, many had strong opinions on that subject.”
Although respondents included both corporate movers and self-movers, one of the key findings from the study shows a high level of frustration among women involved in corporate moves, particularly those with children. The stress of corporate relocation can be not only a career-breaker, but a marriage-breaker as well, according to the study. Having a corporate relocation specialist to work with appears not to have helped in many cases. Respondents often accused them of not understanding and meeting their needs.
South Korea receives top marks as a relocation facilitator and integrator, while China and Japan get a thumbs-down for difficulty in getting a work permit.
Smith says he will provide us with a complete executive summary of the “Migration and Lifestyle” study when it is completed in the near future. We will bring you all of those insights in a future article.