BRITISH expats who moved to Spain for a happier life are returning in droves, with nearly 90,000 abandoning their new Spanish life last year according to national statistics.
The number of Brits registered with town halls dropped a steep 23% in 2013, plummeting from 385,179 on Jan 1 to 297,229 at the end of December.
Research has also revealed that those who choose to move to sunnier climes end up less happy than those who stay in Britain.
Dr David Bartram, from Leicester University, has discovered that 329 migrants registered an average happiness rating of 7.3/10, compared with an average of 7.5/10 for the 56,000 people surveyed still in their homes countries.
He surveyed people who had moved from northern European countries to Spain, Portugal, Greece or Cyprus.
Possible reasons for this decline in happiness are an inability to fit in with a new culture, language and society, while leaving family, friends and homes behind. The economic crisis, shrinking job market and unemployment rates have undoubtedly played a part too.
Other European expats are also giving up on Spain, with the registered German and French populations falling by 23.6% and 12.7% respectively.
This mass exodus of immigrants saw the total population of Spain fall for the second year running, this time from 47,129,783 to 46,725,164.