Spain hosts the largest group of Brits at an estimated 310,000. Ireland is second with an estimated 250,000, and France third with 190,000.
Those 1.2 million people place the UK fifth among EU countries for the size of their expat population in other EU member countries.
The UN data isn’t a perfect measure, as different counties define “immigrant” differently. Some define their migrant population as those born abroad; others count foreign citizens. Census data may also miss some immigrants.
As the House of Commons Library comments, this is an “unavoidable limitation” of using these figures to compare countries.
Previous estimates have placed the figure higher, but these aren’t the best or most recently available figures
An older estimate by the IPPR think tank estimated that 1.8 million UK nationals lived in other EU countries for at least a year in 2008. This rose to 2.2 million when including people who lived abroad for at least part of the year.
This was produced before all the census data used by the UN was available, so the researchers filled in the gaps using various assumptions.
The number of Brits living abroad is increasing
Before 2008 the net number of British emigrants outstripped that of any other EU country at the time, according to the EU's statistics agency. Since then France and Poland have seen surges in emigration and have overtaken the UK.
Isn't it nice to have the whole picture?
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