Expats most likely to find love in Germany

Wed Dec 17, 2008 8:52am EST
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BERLIN (Reuters Life!) - Germany is the number one place for foreigners to fall in love, according to an international study into expat life around the globe.

A quarter of expats in Germany have married locals, making Germany "the best location to find love," according to the "Expat Experience" report, published this month by HSBC Bank International. The Netherlands following closely after.

"The results really surprised me," said Paul Say, head of marketing and communications at HSBC. "I didn't expect that Germany would be the country of love - that's what made it so delightful doing the survey."

Expatriates also considered Germany the best country for expat integration overall, the results showed.

The survey asked 2,155 expats of different nationalities across 48 countries to rank their host country in four categories measuring integration - making local friends, joining community groups, learning the language and buying property.

The Teutonic love hot-spot also scored highly in the number of people having had children since moving to the country at 32 percent, ranking it second only to Belgium, where more than a third of expatriates had had a child.

"One of the strengths of the German nation is that they're multilingual," Say said. "That helps people to converse more, which is definitely an enabler of love."

With many large multinational companies being based in Europe's largest economy, expats also often had longer careers in Germany and more long-term expectations, he said.

According to the report, expats living in Europe were most likely to learn the local language. Germany came top of this category with three quarters of expats there learning German.

Expats were most likely to make friends in Canada, with 95 percent of those questioned saying they had clicked with locals, followed by 92 percent in Germany, the survey, which was conducted between February and April of this year, showed.

(Reporting by Anna Brooke, editing by Kerstin Gehmlich and Paul Casciato; Berlin Newsroom)

<p>People walk as the rising sun illuminates Berlin's skyline September 1, 2008. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>