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Warm weather leads to happy expats, study finds

Author:   |  March 29th, 2018

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Sunshine in Spain is a guarantee for most of the year, while the warm weather only takes a short break in the very depths of winter.

Sunshine in Spain is a guarantee for most of the year, while the warm weather only takes a short break in the very depths of winter.

Some surveys and studies are worth their weight in gold when it comes to revealing the true extent of public opinion on certain matters. Others – like the time scientists spent years determining why cornflakes go soggy when wet – can come across as a bit of a waste of time, of merely asserting known-truisms and universally acknowledged beliefs…

Which is why a new HSBC Expat Explorer survey’s findings that the happiest expats live in countries with warm climates does not really come as a shock. There may be a multitude of reasons to emigrate somewhere, but for the majority of actual and would-be expats, the chance to move somewhere warm and sunny is usually near the top of their wishlist.

According to the survey, expats in Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Thailand are among the happiest in the world, and cite the climate as the main reason for this. Among retirees, the percentage of people who place great value in the climate rises, with 60% of retired expats in Spain saying that the weather is the main reason why they made the move.

But it is not just the chance to tan that delivers warm-weather happiness.

A warmer climate also means that expats are more active, with over 59% of those surveyed stating that since they moved to a warmer country they are leading much healthier lifestyles than before, with more than 65% stating that their social lives were busier also.

The HSBC Expat Explorer survey also found that families with children were far more likely to be happier and more fulfilled when living abroad, with the range of activities, leisure pursuits and educational opportunities widely believed to be greater for expat families, particularly those living in Canada, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Spain.

The survey, which is updated twice a year, asked the opinions of 27,587 expats from across the globe for their views on the work-life balance when living abroad.

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