Canada voted as the best place to live in the world by British expats

by Ray Clancy on April 20, 2011

Canada top pick by UK residents

Canada has the best quality of life for British expats who have voted its resources, natural beauty, peaceful attitude and fairly administered judicial system as the best in the world.

It tops the fourth annual NatWest International Personal Banking Quality of Life Index with 92% of expats rating its working environment as very good or excellent and 90% regarding their financial security in a similar vein.

The majority, 92% rated Canada, as the best for its diverse environment, natural beauty and resources, while 94% said its peaceful nature was a real draw. Expats from around the world now account for more than 70% of the whole Canadian labour force growth.

Canada leads the G7 in terms of the safest place to live and conduct business with the most fairly administered judicial system. It was the leading performer among the hard-hit G7 developed economies during the global recession, helped by its sound banking system and the fact it avoided the property crash seen in the United States and much of Europe.

In second place is New Zealand, followed by Australia, France and South Africa. Making up the rest of the top ten is Portugal, Spain, the United States, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore.

As well as the country’s natural beauty and peaceful reputation, Canada’s healthcare system is also well regarded by expats living there and was rated high by 90%. Furthermore high standards of education are enjoyed by expats in Canadian Schools and Universities. Canada has the highest percentage of individuals achieving at least college or university education among the top 50 countries surveyed by the World Competitiveness Yearbook, 2009.

This is the second year Canada has topped the tables of the NatWest IPB Quality of Life Index. Its excellent working conditions, financial security and peaceful reputation have pushed Canada into this year’s pole position. It seems the pull of the beautiful Rockies, the Mounties and the marvellous taste of maple syrup is a real sticking point for expats,’ said Dave Isley, head of NatWest International Personal Banking.

’As a member of the Commonwealth, Canada offers Brits common values and goals shared with the UK, helping British expats settle into the country and feel at home,’ he added.

The booming economy in Canada also makes the country more attractive. Canada‘s recent expatriate intake has been double those of the United States, with priority given to highly skilled workers.

Financial assets in Canada are up 6% from last year’s levels. Household finances improved in the fourth quarter of 2010, and net worth is rising to record levels. Household net worth per capita increased to $181,700, representing the highest level on record.

Canadian household net worth grew by 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2010 to $6.2 trillion. The gain pushed Canadians’ net worth to a new record high, 4.1% above the pre-recession peak seen in the second quarter of 2008 and 14.6% above the recessionary trough seen in the first quarter of 2009.

‘UK expats say they are living a more fulfilled lifestyle abroad, whilst also benefiting financially. This is particularly true for UK expats in Canada who not only say they benefit from financial security, improved cost of living and a happier working environment but a better work life balance and equal opportunities,’ explained Isley.

For the wider expat community, living and working abroad enables them to earn and save more despite the current economic downturn. More than half of those living and working abroad earn between £50,000 and £100,000. Expats based in Hong Kong have the highest salaries with close to half earning more than £100,000 a year.

The factors that influence individuals’ decisions on where they pursue their careers are many, but a key factor is the powerful link between earning capacity and the ability to build a nest egg. Some 74% of respondents claim to have increased disposable income since becoming expats.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurel April 20, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Being Canadian (but being an expat in Germany), this makes me really proud. I am surprised the cold weather wasn't mentioned though as I know a lot of expats in Canada find the cold winters a big adjustment.


Expatglobal April 25, 2011 at 7:55 am

Just wondering what other countries are participating?


Derrick Davies May 30, 2011 at 10:25 pm

I moved to Canada from the UK some 9 years ago,yes we enjoy our life here,great place for kids.My main moan is the high taxes we are paying,all the nickle and diming the government does with its user fees and taxes on top of taxes.


SYLVIE August 19, 2011 at 9:58 am



Guest December 7, 2011 at 6:11 pm

Please. Canada ain't all that.


Ebony December 23, 2012 at 7:16 pm

People like yourself must be hard to please


sector2814 July 5, 2012 at 7:20 pm

Somebody has been PAID to write this article. Ex London UK I have lived in Vancouver BC for some 7 years. This province is a 'Tale of two Cities'.

The statement in the article about equality and balance is NOT born out by what I have seen of life here. I am very surprised that most people seem to use subjective statements to offer advice about what a country is like. I do not. I trained as a CA in UK and am very used to making objective financial and economic observations. The duality I have seen that exists here is that the economy is NOT balanced. It ALL depends if you are in the RIGHT industry, particularly Government, Medical or Education. These industries ALL pay up to DOUBLE what a commercial organization does. This is totally opposite to what we are used to in the UK. Commerce pays more, anything tax driven pays less. This is the way it should be. The people should NOT be paying for overinflated Government job wages like happens here in the Big V. Similarly you have inequality of holidays. Most people in commerce struggle to get three weeks, BUT if you have a Government job guess what….you get longer holiday entitlements. Similarly for part time workers their rights are LESS. There is NO equality in this system and there is no EU like directive mandating that all workers no matter what status are entitled to the same basic holiday and working rights. People here all answer these issues with the ridiculous 'thats the way it is'. I have never heard this so many times as I have here. It's a good job that the UK never thought like this or it would never have created this place in the first place. Let me also say that Canadians are ridiculously anti immigrants. I have had numerous occasions where I have been told to 'go home'. I have not so politely focused attention on 'who created Canada' and that unless you grandaddy was first nations you have no more right to be hare than! Shame anyway coz my Mum was born here which makes me as Canadian as you! And guess what the Canadian National Anthem goes…'Our home and Native land…' I would be VERY upset if I were First nations.

I could go on and on and on listing the inequalities of life here, so I will just make one final statement. If you are in one of the listed professions RUN here. If you are not, STAY PUT. If you have a social conscience and you believe in balance and equality STAY PUT. If you don't like lack of racial integration stay put. Finally be aware that Canada's BEST quality is to turn an untruth into a 'Golden Opportunity'. They are totally pass-masters at it. BC is the land of the Lotus Eaters….take a bite and the reality I have tried to set out suddenly becomes a Utopia to which NOTHING compares. This is NOT true……bite at your risk!


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