Itchy for a life change and a move abroad? A new report shows that expats who move to Singapore are most likely to be happiest with their decision, as the city-state topped the latest list of best places for expatriates to live and work.
In the eighth edition of HSBC’s Expat Survey Explorer survey, expats in Singapore gave their newly adopted home top marks for quality of life, attractive salaries and opportunities for career development.
A closer look at the lives of expats in Singapore offers some interesting and enviable insight: Over a quarter (28%) earn more than $200,000 a year, compared to the global average of 13%.
The majority (67%) of respondents agreed that moving to Singapore improved the quality of life compared to their home country, with 65% of parents also saying they’ve noticed an improvement in their children’s health and well-being.
Moreover, Singapore is seen as a place of opportunity, with 79% of expats expressing confidence in the economy, and 59% praising the city-state for its career development opportunities.
After Singapore, expats voted New Zealand and Sweden the top destinations.
The survey polled 21,950 respondents about their life abroad, in categories such as career, financial well-being, quality of life, and ease of acclimatization in their new country.
Results also showed that Switzerland attracts the most career-driven expats; that New Zealand offers the most rewarding and fulfilling life experience; and that Sweden is the most family-friendly country.
"Living abroad allows people to realize a whole range of ambitions. Learning new skills, enjoying a different culture or growing closer to loved ones through a shared adventure. These are just some of the rewards expats tell us they have enjoyed through their time in another country,” said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat in a statement.
Overall, quality of life and the desire for new challenges outranked better job prospects as the primary reasons expats cited for leaving their home country.
Entrepreneurial expatriates, meanwhile, may want to consider moving to Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong or London, which were cited as the best places for starting a new business given their economic prosperity.
And foreigners working in the Middle East praised their newly adopted home for offering the most generous expat packages and work contracts, many of which include annual trips home and airfare and accommodation allowances.
Here are the top 10 countries for expats to live and work according to the Expat Explorer survey:
2. New Zealand
9. United Arab Emirates