The number of people leaving the UK for 12 months or more reached a record high in 2006, according to new figures published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). An estimated 400,000 people emigrated last year, up from 359,000 in 2005. This was the highest estimate since ONS introduced the method to calculate Total International Migration (TIM) in 1991.
Continuing the pattern of recent years, just over half of long-term emigrants (207,000) were British citizens. The majority of Britons went to one of five countries – Australia, New Zealand, France, Spain or the United States. The remainder of emigrants (194,000) were non-British citizens, who left the UK in 2006 having lived here for at least a year.
However; bear in mind that for every 100 people that retire overseas, five per cent return in the first six months. On average; around 45% of retirees return home when their partner dies.