In fact, 59% of CEOs plan to send more staff on international assignments with predictions that global corporate travel and international assignments will increase 50% by 2020.
But it isn't just business crossing borders. Leading research firm Finaccord forecasts that students will constitute the most rapidly growing category of expatriates worldwide between 2013 and 2017, increasing at a compound annual rate of 3.6%, followed by individual workers (3.2%), retired expatriates (2.9%), corporate transferees (2.8%) and other expatriates (2.3%).
Total number of expatriates worldwide in 2013 amounted to around 50.5 million, with Saudi Arabia hosting the highest number and India exporting the most
This figure has grown at a compound annual rate of 2.4% since 2009. By 2017, Finaccord forecasts that the number will reach around 56.8 million.
“Global mobility has increased significantly over the past decade and expatriates constitute a large and diverse market” comments Tobias Schneider, a Consultant at Finaccord. “According to this analysis, the majority of expatriates in 2013 were classifiable as individual workers (73.6%) followed by students (8.8%), retired expatriates (3.7%) and corporate transferees (1.0%), with the balance of other expatriates (defined as non-employed spouses and children) making up the residual 12.8%.”
Whatever the motivation to move, the health and safety of an individual's life must be of critical importance. Assignments may include areas of the world where social infrastructure, communication, and utilities are primitive, or even nonexistent. This can have a dramatic effect on the overall welfare of an individual, as they struggle to come to terms with foreign surroundings and unknown cultures.
It isn’t easy living as an expat and a mix of social, economic and personal circumstances can lead to failure and return. This is one of the big hidden costs of expatriation. The expat quits and wants to return to their country of residence. On return, they may also leave the company, forcing downtime, expense and an empty international appointment to fill.
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