Whether you’re a serial expat or first-timer, the Balancing Life Abroad report includes helpful insights into why people choose to move abroad and how retired expats have integrated into a new culture. With 39 popular expat destinations surveyed, Singapore emerged as the best place overall to live and work as an expat. Expats love Singapore for its safety, job opportunities, and high wages. The small and diverse metropolis also offers a variety of things to do around food, fashion, and culture. If you’re an ambitious individual ready to jump-start your career, Switzerland is ranked the best place for career advancement and the best place for economics. New Zealand ranked first for quality of life, and Sweden number one for family-friendly culture.
According to HSBC, here are a few other key findings from the report:
- Singapore provides strong opportunities for career progression and a stable economy. Overall, 67% say their quality of life is better in Singapore than it was at home.
- Expats are moving abroad to improve their quality of life and take on new
challenges, rather than purely for higher salaries. Their appetite for learning new
skills in a foreign workplace and how to integrate into a new culture, are two
examples of this.
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) of expats globally find at least one aspect of managing money abroad a challenge. Nearly two in five (37%) expats identify managing finances in different currencies as a key challenge – the most common financial problem faced.
- Expats living abroad because their partner accepted a job are leading independent, active social lives. 54% believe the move has brought them closer together in their relationship, compared to 13% who say this is not the case.
- Globally, expats say the cities of London, Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong are the four best places in the world to start a business, due to their strong economies, culture, and business environment which attract the world’s expat entrepreneurs.
- Expat employee benefits vary greatly across the world, but expats in the Middle
East enjoy some of the most generous employment packages. More than half (52%) of expats globally have health and medical benefits, but only a third (33%) receive accommodation allowances, compared to 60% of expats living in the Middle East.
- Expats rank South East Asia as the best place for career satisfaction, with four of the top five destinations (the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and China) rated by expats on this issue located in the region.
- New Zealand ranks first in the Experience League table and 77% say their overall quality of life is better since moving there. Expats enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and sporting culture of the country and 57% say they have become more physically active living there.
- Sweden’s family friendly culture and respected schools help the country rank first in the Family League table. The quality of childcare is better than at home according to 79% of expat parents, while the country also excels at bringing expat couples closer together.