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Brits in BG - Profile of British Settlers



The majority of the settlers are drawn from the lower and lower-middle classes in England: skilled manual workers and middle ranking administrative workers. In terms of income, they had relatively low incomes in England (pensions and/or social benefits) and relatively slight hopes of advancement. Of particular significance is the level of pensions in England, which may be low in relation to the English income distribution, but which are relatively large in relation to Bulgarian incomes. The move to Bulgaria can, thus, be seen as a form of social promotion, due to higher real incomes and/or a higher valuation of work-skills.


Many of the settlers had been owner-occupiers in England and asset rich but cash poor. Conversion of English housing assets into income facilitated the purchase of property both in Bulgaria and, frequently, a smaller property in England to provide either income or long term security in the form of something to cash in to enhance a pension or to pass on to younger members of their family.


Creating a European Identity

The purpose of Judith Allen’s study was to observe how and whether a European identity was formed. Her conclusion is that by carefully observing how the process of settling works into a different country works, it may be possible to begin to understand how important aspects of the European identity are being created, as well as how such an identity “creates Europe”. Since her study was conducted Bulgaria has experienced even more growth in the number of foreigners moving permanently. What has happened is that the Brits are no longer alone; whilst they continue to arrive in significant numbers, the Russians have also started to follow suite and this will add to the ethnic and cultural mix of Bulgarian society.