Global Mobility Survey

More people are willing to work abroad

In our ever-shrinking world, it is hardly surprising that more than two-thirds of people are willing to work abroad. According to Global Talent Mobility Survey figures, this represents a 7 percent increase in mobility since 2006. Allied to more people expressing a willingness to move for work, only 14 percent of the global workforce now rules themselves out of an international career move.

Interestingly, though, there is a huge difference between a desire to move and actual physical relocation. In the Netherlands, for example, only one out of every hundred people willing to move abroad actually dusts down their passport, packs their bags and heads off for another country.


Why are people more willing to work abroad? There are several factors, one of which is the gradual replacement of the baby boom generation within the workforce by more internationally mobile Generation Y workers. Also, the growth of international job sites and search engines is allowing people to identify roles in far-flung places much more easily.

There are enormous differences in workforce mobility between countries, however. Workers in Portugal, Luxembourg and Nigeria are the most transient, while people in Latvia, the USA and China are less likely to work abroad. In the vast majority of countries, over half of the workforce are willing to move abroad.