A study by InterNations, the largest global community and information site for people who live and work abroad, has identified seven common types of expats – from the “Go Getter” to the “Optimiser”, the “Romantic” to the “Foreign Assignee”.
The findings are based on respondents’ primary motivation for moving abroad, highlighting job opportunities and the search for a better life as most important reasons for expatriation. (More than 18,000 people representing 178 nationalities and living in 187 countries or territories took part in the survey. You can read the full findings here.)
Around the world, there are estimated to be between 50 million and 60 million people who consider themselves expats. InterNations says that “while their reasons for moving abroad and their lifestyles are very different, they still share some similarities”. It says that 86 per cent of all expats fall into one of seven common expat types. These are…
1. The Go Getter (21 per cent)
2. The Optimiser (16 per cent)
3. The Romantic (12 per cent)
4. The Explorer (12 per cent)
5. The Foreign Assignee (10 per cent)
6. The Travelling Spouse (8 per cent)
7. The Student (7 per cent)
Although Go-Getters are the most common expat type globally, British expats are more likely to be Optimisers (24 per cent) who move abroad in search of good weather and a better quality of life. Where do they tend to move to? Germany, Spain and France are the most popular countries, attracting 7 per cent of British expats each. Overall, 75 per cent of British Optimisers work full-time and 79 per cent feel at home in the local culture.