Saturday, March 3, 2012

British expats rate Canada top place to live in annual survey


Canada is tops for British expatriates, according to a survey by the UK's NatWest Bank.
For the third straight year, Canada has ranked No. 1 on the NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index, Reuters reports.
The fifth annual survey of 12 countries put Canada ahead of New Zealand, Australia, France and South Africa. Other rankings in order were Portugal, Spain, the United States, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.
British expats valued Canada's natural beauty, multicultural society, universal health care and security.
"Our quality of life index - which examines expats real life perceptions and experiences and gauges their personal assessments - shows the global financial crisis has failed to
dampen the spirits of expats who seem to have adopted the 'keep calm, carry on' philosophy," Dave Isley, NatWest's head of international personal banking, told Reuters.
Emirates 24/7 reported 82 per cent of those surveyed ranked Canada as having the best quality of life experience. Some 88 per cent said our multicultural society was a factor, while 90 per cent mentioned healthcare and 96 per cent said Canada's human rights and freedoms allowed them to feel safe and secure.
Canada also topped NatWest's Well Being Index, which comprises six self-assessment categories: state of health, degree of prosperity, sense of belonging and acceptance, life satisfaction, sense of achievement and overall level of happiness.
"The quality of life factors that contributed to its number one spot in the rankings yet again range from the culture, standard of living, sense of belonging, work/life balance, equality of opportunity to the state of the economy and financial security," Isley said of Canada.
Despite the financial turmoil of the last few years, British expats in Australia, Canada and New Zealand reported their financial position had "improved significantly," said Reuters.
Those who left Britain for European sun spots are seeing their disposable income eroding as Euro-zone countries implement austerity measures, according to the index.
"Those who are most likely to return home are those who retired to France, Portugal and Spain as their disposable income diminishes and the cost of living rises," Isley said.