Middle class Britons are leaving the country in ever growing numbers for lower taxes and better living conditions overseas, government researchers have found.
The loss of professionals and company managers threatens Britain's inventory of highly skilled workers, The Daily Telegraph reported Tuesday.
In a report, the Home Office said its research found a "large and increasing" number of "professional or managerial occupations" had left Britain in the last 20 years.
"This may have implications for the availability of skills in the U.K.," the report added.
About 4.7 million British citizens live overseas, the report found, with 149,000 emigrating in 2011.
High tax rates, the cost of living and a sluggish economy could cause more British to leave the country.
The report said the majority of those leaving Britain were making a "lifestyle choice" rather than moving primarily for work.
Economists say tax rates in Britain are among the highest in the world.
Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osbourne has said he plans to cut the 50 percent tax rate to 45 percent next April.