Migrants rank UK among least welcoming nations

A man comforts a girl after their arrival into Europe by dinghy from the Turkish coast to the north-eastern Greek island of Lesbos.. Picture: AP

A man comforts a girl after their arrival into Europe by dinghy from the Turkish coast to the north-eastern Greek island of Lesbos.. Picture: AP

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THE United Kingdom has been voted among the least welcoming countries in a comprehensive survey.

More than 14,000 people, from 170 different countries, were asked to rate their experiences in their adopted homelands.

Myanmar (formerly Burma) was voted the most welcoming country to expats. Picture: InterNations

Myanmar (formerly Burma) was voted the most welcoming country to expats. Picture: InterNations

The UK was placed 36th out of 64 countries listed - below the US, Canada, and Brazil, but above France, Italy and Japan.

The figures were revealed by the Expat Insider 2015 survey, carried out by Munich-based InterNations, a global network representing 1.9m people who work and live abroad.

Contributors were asked questions about how welcome they feel abroad, how friendly the local population is, how easy it is to make new friends, and how easy and important it is to learn the local language.

Myanmar was voted the most welcoming to foreign settlers, followed by Mexico, Portugal and the Republic of Ireland.

Good career and education opportunities come at a high price for expats in the UK

Expat Insider 2015 survey

In a separate poll, Mexico and New Zealand were judged the easiest countries to settle in. The UK was placed 28th.

In a section detailing the British results, the report’s authors said: “Good career and education opportunities come at a high price for expats in the UK.

“As far as personal finances are concerned, the UK ranks among the bottom ten on the global scale in the Personal Finance Index (59th out of 64 countries). More than half of the survey respondents (53 per cent) are not happy with the overall cost of living.”

Altogether, 73 per cent of respondents in the UK rate the general friendliness of the British positively, and 71 per cent of survey participants have few problems settling down.

However, almost two in five (38 per cent) find it hard to make local friends.

Overall, 76 per cent said that they are generally happy with their life in the UK.

A recent YouGov poll suggested attitudes towards immigration were broadly similar in Scotland as in the rest of the UK.

It found 49 per cent wanted to see less immigration - the same proportion as across Britain - and 15 per cent said it should be stopped altogether.

However, 27 per cent of Scots said immigration was good for the country, compared to 22 per cent across Britain.

Older people were far more likely to be opposed to immigration, with 76 per cent of those over 60 in favour of a reduction as opposed to 43 per cent of 18 to 24 year olds.

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