Google’s Expat Top Ten


When making the decision to move abroad and start a new life of work overseas, actually picking where to go can be an immensely challenging task to undertake. You will have to weigh up a many factors, especially if you will be travelling with a family.

Of course, there are many resources available to expatriates both online and in the physical world. Here at Expat & Offshore we have created a number of excellent City Guides detailing the various different elements of expat life in a host of popular destinations.

For many though, one name sticks out as a source for finding answers, search engine giant, Google.

Using the various tools Google offers we can create a list of the Top Ten Expat Destinations according to Google.


According to Google, Australia is the number one destination for UK expatriates. Their statistics show that the start of a new year sees a jump in the number of people searching the term “moving to Australia”.

Per month ‘moving to Australia’ receives 4,400 searches from the UK. ‘Jobs in Australia receives 12,100, and ‘emigrating to Australia’ sees 6,600. Interestingly, these search terms tend to trail off as the year progresses, and Google believes this trend will continue as we approach 2012.


Dubai, the global hub within the United Arab Emirates, is another faraway destination associated with sun, sand and British expatriates. However, Dubai appears to be seeing a burst of highs and lows when it comes to Google searches. According to Google figures ‘moving to Dubai’ was at its most popular between 2007 and 2008, the term then dropped between 2009 and 2010, and Google predicts that there will be no significant increase during 2012.

Currently, ‘moving to Dubai’ receives just 390 searches per month from the UK, however the term ‘jobs in Dubai’ gets significantly more- 9,990, but ‘emigrating to Dubai’ sees just 58.

This would suggest that there is still a lot of interest in making a work move to Dubai, and with is tax free life and good employment opportunities for skilled foreign workers this is unsurprising.


Canada is another popular destination that welcomes skilled foreigners with open arms. In fact, Canada has recently stated that it needs more expatriate workers to contribute in a number of sectors. Search figures regarding Canada look like this- ‘moving to Canada’ sees 1,600 UK searches each month, ‘jobs in Canada’ 5,400 and ‘emigrating to Canada’ 2,400.


Ah, the United States of America. In the past the US was of course THE place associated with foreign workers, the land of hope and glory offered its fabled American Dream and pledged to take in all entrants, be they tired, poor or clumped together in a huddled mass. But things change, and now the US have very stringent entry procedures, and it is now notoriously difficult to gain a work visa.

In terms of search terms, 1,600 Brits ask Google about ‘moving to America’ each month, 2,900 enquire about ‘jobs in America’ and ‘emigrating to America’ gains around 1,000.


Mexico is an interesting entry on this list, a few years ago Mexico was proving to be a highly popular destination for British expatriates, and Google figures suggest that internet searches peaked in 2004. Since then however, search numbers have decreased quite dramatically- ‘moving to Mexico’ currently receives just 36 UK searches per month, ‘jobs in Mexico’ 150 and ‘emigrating to Mexico’ gets just 30. The reasons for this heavy downturn could be attributed to a number of factors, however Mexico is unfortunately garnering a reputation for extreme criminal danger due to the growing prominence of the ultra-violent drug cartels, coupled with political problems this one-two punch could be knocking potential expats out for the count.


Traditionally, Portugal is another destination that is popular for travelling Brits. Mediterranean climates are often popular as Brits welcome leaving behind the notorious British weather. However, similarly to Mexico, interest seems to be waning in Portugal, despite numbers of expatriates growing throughout other parts of the world. The term ‘moving to Portugal’ is currently amassing just 170 UK searches, ‘jobs in Portugal’ gets around 500, ‘emigrating to Portugal’ shows just 16 searches.


Again, the sun of Cyprus has a great history of attracting UK expatriates, and it seems that the peak of interest was around 2004.

Moving to Cyprus receives 260 searches from the UK, ‘Jobs in Cyprus’ receives 2,400 from the UK, and ‘emigrating’ to Cyprus’ receives just 15 searches from the UK.

New Zealand

New Zealand is another destination that does well with searches from within the UK- The term ‘moving to New Zealand’ receives 1,000 from the UK, ‘jobs in New Zealand’ receives 2,900 and ‘emigrating to New Zealand’ sees 1,900 .


Although Egypt was once a very popular destination, its stock has fallen in the last few years.

‘Moving to Egypt’ receives just 36 searches are from UK, but ‘jobs in Egypt’ fares better with around 500 searches coming from the UK. ‘Emigrating to Egypt’ disappoints though with just 12 from the UK.

Finally, the last country on the Google list is the UK itself! However, as most UK expatriates are seeking an exit from the country we’ll chalk that one to playful curiosity