28 August 2009
British are quiting UK and emigrating to Australia
Almost 400,000 people quit Britain to find a better life abroad last year as the recession took hold, new statistics have shown.
A total of 395,000 people from the UK left the country during 2008. The numbers are a rise of 24 per cent compared with the 318,000 who left in 2007, according to the Office of National Statistics.
About 158,000 were British citizens leaving the country for an expat life overseas, emigrating to Australia or New Zealand. Other popular destinations for Britons emigrating abroad include France, Spain and the US.
On average three Britons are quitting the country every minute.The majority of migrants to Australia go through the Australian General Skilled Migration Programme to obtain an Australian skilled migrant visa.
The remaining 237,000 were foreigners returning home or leaving for other countries.
Since Labour came to power in 1997, about two million UK nationals have left the country to live abroad in places like Australia: the fastest rate of emigration since World War I.
One recent estimate said one in 12 Britons now lives abroad.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australia visa applications.