Expat numbers to rise as inflation soars: report

It seems as inflation continues to surge around the world, an increasing number of people are thinking about moving to countries with a lower cost of living to try and maintain a decent lifestyle. Fresh research regarding the international cost-of-living crisis finds Malta in the five least expensive countries. The top 50 countries listing research, conducted by Clear Currency, found that there were over 20,000 internet searches in June related to moving abroad. It then analysed the cost of living – based on household services, food shopping and fuel – for the top 50 and ranked them in order of the cheapest.


In the UK, the Consumer Price Index rose by 8.2% in the 12 months to June with the largest upward contributions being household services (heating, water, cooling, electric), transport, and fuel. The UK ranks 20th out of the 50 countries for the highest cost of living based on household services, food shopping and fuel. In the UK, household services and food shopping now average £401.27 per month, with rent averaging £1,092.05 a month. In June, the research found that there were 21,220 searches related to moving to another country (Google Trends), with Australia, Canada and Spain as the top three most-searched for countries. In Spain, the figures show that the cost of household services averages £104.67 per month, and the purchase price of an apartment averages £2,162.97 per square metre.  The average price of household services and food shopping puts Spain as one of the most popular and affordable countries, ranking in the top 20.

Cost of living

Comparing to Britain, the cost of living for each country was analysed to show where you can live on £400 per month, or less, around the world based on household services, food shopping average costs and fuel. Other findings reveal that South Africa, Finland, Mexico, Turkey and Malta are also among the top 20 most searched for countries; and have the lowest cost of living, with average monthly costs of under £400 per month. Gary O’Driscoll, head of private clients at Clear Currency said: “It’s a well-known fact that the cost of living in the UK is at a worrying high, with basic necessities such as food and utilities taking up a huge proportion of monthly wages. The average monthly salary in the UK is £2,246.96 a month after tax, which if you look at the data for June doesn’t allow for much disposable income once bills are paid. As a business, we’re seeing an overall rise in demand for international money transfers, along with an increase in the number of clients relocating abroad post-pandemic.” He went on to add: “With inflation expected to increase further by the end of the year, and an ever-increasing cost of living – driven in part by the rising cost of energy – UK consumers are certainly set to feel the effects. This, coupled with the October energy price cap rise, could see a new wave of people leaving the country, as maintaining a decent standard of living in the UK becomes more and more unachievable.” The report used June 2022 figures from Numbeo.com and Google Trends research as of June 2022 to find the number of Google searches for moving abroad.

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