I will be flying to Europe tomorrow and living abroad for two years now my feeling about this holiday and coming “home” has changed a bit. In this blog post, I want to share my view about this. If you are an expat yourself, you might resonate with this, if you are a friend of an Expat this might help you to understand your friend a bit better.
The Expat Partner in Numbers
THE EXPAT PARTNER IN NUMBERS
The Expat Partner in Numbers
Since I started my mission to help Expat Partners worldwide to continue their career abroad, I am fascinated by the statistics you can find in that field. In this blog post, I want to give you an overview of the different resources out there and what is so impressive about them.
The basic demographics
Most expat partners are female - I don't think that will change in the near future!
Not surprisingly, the majority of Expat Partners are female. According to the statistics of BGRS in 2016, this number is slowly rising from 75%. However, all numbers I can find throughout the web are showing very static numbers. The resource by BGRS is pretty good to get more insights about expatriation in general. I link it here if you want to learn more.
In comparison to BGRS, a survey by Internations conducted in 2015 is stating that even 84% of trailing partner are women. The survey is quite comprehensive. However, it does not focus on company transferred Expats only and only covers the phenomenon of Expat Partners in a smaller section. You can find the survey here.
Raising children abroad is getting more popular
The survey of Internations in 2015 stated that 34% of Expat Partners have children. In the latest study of 2018, this number has increased to 45%. From what I am observing on several blogs and interviews with fellow Expats, the topic of raising children abroad is highly on vogue. In times of dual-career couples, expatriation seems to be the perfect timing for focusing on family planning. Unfortunately, there are also downsides here that you come across when digging a little bit deeper. Only because the timing makes sense regarding career planning, it does not mean that it is perfect for the current situation of the relationship. Many couples are facing relationship struggles due to moving abroad. Financial dependency is often a topic but also the lack of the support network of family and friends. Therefore, it is a good idea to reflect on the real motivation behind raising children abroad.
In my experience, most Expat Partners are female because of the following reasons:
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The financial & Professional situation
The difficult job situation of expat partners
Finding a job can be a big struggle for Expat Partners after moving abroad. The majority of women is focusing on family life. However, this is not always by choice. The great team of ExpatCommunications is also doing an amazing job putting all the facts together. I can highly recommend their survey.
According to this survey, about 80% of accompanying partners would love to work during their time abroad. The priority of continuing a career, of course, depends on the family situation. For couples with children, dealing with family matters is more in focus while couples without children are more focused on a potential occupation for the Expat Partner.
The importance of financial independence
One-third of Expat Partners are money-wise worse off after their move abroad but in general happy with the disposable income of the total household. This and more facts about the financial situation can be gained from the most recent Internations Survey. About 36% of Expats have a household income >USD 100,000. However, every second Expat Partner is worried about future income and suffer from the loss of personal income. Expatriation can create a financial dependency where money is not a general issue but might affect the relationship and future well-being after repatriation. 65% of Expat Partner don’t like that they are financially dependent on their partner and this number is rising with an increasing number of dual-career couples. Giving up a former career can not only create a form of identity loss but has also consequences for your financial planning. Hence, clear communication between the couple from the very beginning is vital to not wake-up one day worrying about the time after expatriation.
The reason for sharing these numbers with you is to make you aware of the general setting of expatriation. While these numbers might have a negative tone they do not show the joy it brings! However, it is always good to start your journey with all the facts available in order to prepare you for this great adventure.
I am personally hoping to see more female Expats and a lower unemployment rate of Expat Partners. We are fighting for female leadership all the time but when it comes to expatriation its like traveling back in time. I am happy for every Expat Partner that is not working by choice. But I know from my consultations that this is not the norm. There are also so many of us who move abroad but want to continue the career.
For them (and me) I am doing this work here on Share-the-Love! Share the message and make your employer aware of the inequality of men and women. Follow my journey on social media or sign-up for the Share-the-Love newsletter (every 1-2 weeks) to keep up with new developments. Check out my other blog posts about working abroad and how to continue your career abroad. If you want to share your story with me please don’t hesitate and send a message to me. You can write to firstname.lastname@example.org and I am happy to share your story or exchange experience to help you make your move as easy as possible.
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