56% of emigrants happier in new countries - survey

Dublin Airport, one of the country's departure points for emigrants

A new survey shows that most people who have emigrated in recent years are happier now than they were in Ireland. The majority also feel the quality of life in their new homes is better.

This Ipsos/MRBI survey for the Irish Times looks at the attitudes of Irish people who have left the country since 2008, when the recession hit.

Destination countries have included the UK, Australia, New Zealand, North America and mainland Europe.

Among the biggest challenges facing emigrants were finding somewhere to live, getting a job, making friends and becoming familiar with their new surroundings. Commuting and learning a new language were also listed as challenges.

However, 56% of those polled said they were happier now than when living at home in Ireland. Just 22% were less happy and a similar amount felt about the same level of happiness.

Some 55% said they had a healthier diet in their new home, while 54% exercised more regularly.

A total of 59% said their new social circles were still mainly made up of other Irish people.

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