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The Expat Explorer Survey, commissioned by the leading international British bank HSBC and now in its fifth year, is the largest independent global survey of expats which aims to provide a unique insight into how expat life differs across the globe.
The 2012 survey questioned over 5,000 expats based in over 100 countries about life overseas, with surprising results. The survey analyzes on one side the economic situation and finances of the expatriates in the country they are based, and on the other life experience and quality of life.
Although Spain, along with the rest of the Eurozone countries, has been subject to economic uncertainty over the past year, the easy lifestyle and good weather has made it a popular destination for expats. In fact, Spain ranks third worldwide with regards to life experience factors, only surpassed by the teeny Cayman Islands and tropical Thailand. In comparison, the UK ranks 18th and the U.S. 20th. If economic factors are taken into consideration, the overall country ranking for Spain drops to 13th position, but even so it remains the favourite Eurozone country for expats. The only other European country to beat Spain in the overall ranking is Switzerland, a country that doesn't belong to the single currency system.
The great Spanish weather means that 79% of expats in Spain expect better weather against a world average of only 29%. Attendees at the Luxury Real Estate 7th Annual International Symposium in the Spanish city of Valencia, in January, will have been able to see for themselves the fantastic weather we have been enjoying in the midst of winter.
The varied Mediterranean diet also plays an important role as nearly three quarters (71%) of expats have reportedly improved their diet since moving to Spain. There is also a considerable effort to integrate with the locals and 71% of expats try to learn the local language.
Even though the majority of expats in Spain are not happy with current situation of the economy, none are actively looking to leave. Spain provides an ideal balance between working life and family/social life, in addition to vast opportunities for outdoor sports and an extensive entertainment offer, both key factors in deciding to choose to stay in the country and weather out the Eurozone storm.
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