Dubai leads British exodus overseas

British expatriate population in UAE has doubled to 120,000 in last two years, embassy says.
Dubai leads British exodus overseas
By Talal Malik
Wed 21 May 2008 09:51 AM

The British community of expatriates in the UAE and Dubai are at the head of an exodus of two million from the UK in the last decade.

The population of British expatriates in the UAE has doubled in to about 120,000 residents this year, compared to 60,000 residents in 2006, according to statistics compiled from the UK's Office for National Statistics (ONS), the British Embassy in the UAE, British broadcaster the BBC and British public policy think tank IIPR.

The UAE has the world's fastest growing community of British expatriates, according to the statistics.

Dubai accounts for the bulk of the British expatriate community, estimated at 100,000 people, embassy officials told

Historians say the emigration of two million British citizens in the last decade is almost unparalleled in the country's history.

The last comparable exodus from the UK came between 1911 and 1914, when 2.4 million people left Britain, according to figures by Jay Winter of Yale University.

The other significant spike in emigration came in the late 1950s and early 1960s, when thousands of Britons left to start new lives in Australia, Canada and the US.

The population and migration figures for the UK in 2006, published by the ONS, reveal 200,000 British citizens left the UK in 2006, which was the highest estimate of emigration since the method of counting was introduced in 1991.

Two-third of British citizens in the group who left the UK were heading for five countries - nearly a third went to live in Australia or New Zealand, just under a quarter went to Spain or France, and eight in every 100 went to live in the US.

According to figures for 2006, there were 1.3 million British emigrating to Australia, around 800,000 emigrating to Spain and around 700,000 to the USA.

In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia had a population of 30,000 British expatriates in 2006 compared to Egypt's 14,000.

Whilst there has been an exodus of Britons leaving the UK, record numbers of immigrants have come to the country.

An estimated 591,000 people came to Britain, resulting in net immigration in 2006 running at 191,000.

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