Some 5.5 million Brits are thought to live abroad long-term – equivalent to roughly one-in-ten of all UK nationals.
Most of this sizeable diaspora prefer to cling to at least some measure of familiarity, as evidenced by the top destinations being English-speaking: Australia (1.3 million), US (700,000) and Canada (530,000).
Others, meanwhile, seek out more of a radical change of lifestyle. Whether it be for the weather, the food, the language or just the more relaxed pace, over 175,000 Brits made their dreams of an escape to the French countryside come true.
Such is the attraction of pastries and Merlot that some towns and cities may well be home to more of one’s compatriots than expected or, perhaps, hoped.
Express.co.uk has pinpointed the French villages with the highest proportions of British expats.
The famed Mediterranean gems of the Cote d’Azur may seem like the most obvious candidates to top the list, but this is not the case.
High in the Alps close to the Swiss border, Morzine is one of France’s most prized ski resorts. Every winter hundreds of thousands flock to the town for its powdery pistes, but some 800 Brits live there year-round.
This community represents 9.3 percent of Morzine’s total population, more than anywhere else in the Hexagone.
Far from the bustle of seasonal tourism, the tranquil commune of Le Dorat, tucked away in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine countryside 30 miles north of Limoges, comes second, also with 9.3 percent British residents.
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In third place comes Eymet, a few hundred miles further south in the Dordogne. With nine percent of its residents from the UK, the town attracted national attention as the focal point for ITV1’s Little England series back in 2011.
After this comes the agricultural market village of Sauzé-Vaussais (8.1 percent) in the west of the country, an hour and a half’s drive from the Atlantic beaches of La Rochelle.
Rounding out the top five is Callac in Brittany (7.8 percent), followed by Civray in Nouvelle-Aquitaine (7.1 percent) and Huelgoat, also in Brittany (6.8 percent).
According to the UN, some 1.3 million Brits live in the EU. While Brexit has undoubtedly added to the bureaucratic workload for many expats, very few have actually been kicked back across the Channel as a result of the UK’s withdrawal. In total, the EU removed just 2,610 British nationals in 2021 and 2022.
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