Find Home Together

News & Comment

The number of EU citizens looking to move to the UK has plummeted, and here's why

Reading time:

Ah, Brexit. We have so many things to thank you for: dominating the news for actual years, getting us even more riled up at politicians, and most importantly filling us with the crushing fear that soon we may be deprived of some of our favourite European imports (just think of the Kinder eggs!)

I think it’s a fair comment that not much good has come from the Brexit non-deal so far. And our latest finding is just more bad news: Europeans have stopped wanting to move to the UK.

Which isn’t all that shocking, given that it’s grey a lot of the time, we’re preparing to leave the EU, and the cost of living here can be pretty ridiculous (comparatively).

Here are the stats: in the 10 months before 2016’s Brexit referendum vote, our site data showed a 14.7% increase in traffic visiting SpareRoom from European countries. A year later, growth had slowed to 4.3% as Brexit fear started to set in. Now in 2018, the figure sits at just 1.3% – effectively showing that less Europeans than EVER are wanting to move to the UK.

But what would that really mean? Well, less Kinder on British soil for one thing. And potentially a less diverse population.

Being a Londoner, I’m pretty lucky to live in one of the most vibrant cities in the world. The place is a total melting pot of different backgrounds, cultures and ideas from across the globe, and that’s one of the reasons why it’s such a special place to call home. I live in a suburb where Polish supermarkets sit alongside authentic Sri Lankan restaurants and Indian sweet shops, and everyone you speak to in the pub has a different story. Families who have settled there for generations, now live in harmony alongside young professionals and graduates. It’s a diverse, open and inclusive community that I’d really miss if I ever had to leave it.

The thought of a London, and potentially a country, that’s no longer open for all is a sad thought indeed. Imagine the people that flock to our island from all over the globe to work and study, now deciding to stay put. There’d be no variety, no vibrancy, none of the fresh feelings that new ideas from different backgrounds can bring to our atmosphere.

But despite this bleak future outlook, SpareRoom is still a diverse community right now. In September alone we had users speaking 80 different languages on our site (all living in the UK), with European languages featuring highly – 17,000 Italians, 15,000 Spanish speakers, 14,000 Portuguese, 11,500 French… and that’s just the start. We’ve even got 564 Finnish speakers, 1,400 Czech and 64 Nepali speakers.

So although the slump in new traffic to our site from the EU is showing all the signs of Brexit doom and gloom, the inclusive and multicultural community we’ve already got on SpareRoom is something we’re really proud of. And something we hope to maintain, whatever Brexit brings.

SpareRoom is open to all, regardless of background, heritage and culture. Please never stop joining us.

Image credit: Matt From London, airpix.


News & Comment

2023: From a Renter’s Perspective

News & Comment

SpareRoom & Crisis - Win your rent for a month!

News & Comment

The 10 cheapest UK cities

News & Comment

10 cheapest areas to live in London