New figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) have given a more accurate idea of the number of Britons living in Germany (and vice versa) and also show that many UK expats in Germany have made the decision that they will stay.
The report was compiled as part as a series and published as a response to the need for data on the British lives that will be most affected by Brexit. It included statistics on where British expats live and work, how long they’ve lived there, and what sort of employment they most often take on.
Looking at the data, it becomes clear that the majority of British expats move to Germany for work: 79% are in employment. Of those, 27% work in administration and support services with mining and manufacturing the second most common industry employer (18%).
The biggest UK expat communities can be found in Berlin, Munich, and Frankfurt, which is likely to be because these are the cities offering the best career prospects.
In terms of the actual number of Britons living in Germany (which did not include military personnel), the study showed that since 2011 the 65-70 age group saw the largest increase. An estimated additional 2,500 British citizens belonging to this age group were living in Germany by 2016.
What’s more, a high number of British expats in Germany appear to be very settled, enjoying life in the country for quite some time and seeming not to have plans to move back to their home country any time soon. The ONS report mentions other figures from the 2016 German Central Register for Foreigners, which estimate that the majority of British expats in Germany, 64%, have been living in Germany for over ten years.
The ONS figures may also offer some explanation as to why so many expats feel settled in Germany, and it turns out it could be down to romance. The report says that 52% of British citizens in Germany are married, the majority of whom are not married to another British expat.
Of the spousal expats, 61% are married to someone either born in Germany or someone whose parents were born in Germany, and of course, once married, the ties to the country are stronger, making it less likely that a return to the UK will be on the cards.
The number of Brits married to Germans is high when compared to somewhere like France, where 63% are either married to or live with other British citizens.
Other reasons that an expat may view Germany as a place worth staying in include the strong economy (which enables many expats to earn more than they would in a similar role back home), good job security and prospects, and a safe environment to raise a family, with an affordable education system. All these factors will also have a positive effect on an expat’s wealth management in Germany.
Expat’s loyalty to Germany is not to be taken lightly, especially considering that a large number of global expats eventually choose to repatriate. The latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey has shown that 52% of respondents went back to their home country at some point. What’s more, almost a fifth of expats (19%) had gone through the repatriation process at least twice. The main reasons cited for repatriation were family issues and career progression. The survey also showed that many expats don’t completely cut ties with their home countries, with many still owning property at home.
Regardless of where British citizens have moved to, it’s usual for some to feel the need to return home. While there can be many factors influencing their decision, financial worries shouldn’t have to be one of them.
At Blacktower, we can help you plan your financial future. If you need help with your wealth management in Germany, or in another popular expat destination – such as France, Spain, or the Netherlands – our experienced financial advisers will help you make the best decisions possible regarding your money. With a Blacktower financial adviser on your side, your plans – whether you wish to stay settled in your chosen country or return to the UK – are always at the forefront of our financial advice.