Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Expat Explorer 2016: Achieving Ambitions Abroad

As leaves turn brown in the Northern Hemisphere and spring blooms in the South, nearly a year of research and analysis from the team at HSBC Expat bears first fruit. Our ninth year of the HSBC Expat Explorer survey is our most comprehensive to date, where 26,871 expats from 190 countries have shared their views on life abroad including careers, financial wellbeing, quality of life, and raising children.

For the second year in a row, the city-state of Singapore takes the top spot in HSBC’s Expat Explorer country league table as the best overall destination for expats. Expats in Singapore enjoy some of the world’s best financial rewards and career opportunities, while also benefiting from an excellent quality of life and a safe, family-friendly environment. 

Overall, 66% of expats in Singapore agree that it offers a better quality of life than their home country (compared to 52% of expats globally), while three quarters (75%) say the quality of education in Singapore is better than at home, the highest proportion in the world (global average 43%).

Expat Explorer 2016 overall league table
The best countries for expats to live and work
1.      Singapore
2.      New Zealand
3.      Canada
4.      Czech Republic
5.      Switzerland
6.      Norway
7.      Austria
8.      Sweden
9.      Bahrain
10.  Germany

New Zealand and Canada follow Singapore as the top three expat destinations according to expats, with the Czech Republic leaping 14 places to come fourth this year. Whilst Norway and Austria enter the league tables for the first time, ranking sixth and seventh place respectively.

1. Switzerland
1. New Zealand
1. Sweden
2. Singapore
2. Spain
2. Czech Republic
3. Germany
3. Canada
3. Singapore
4. Norway
4. Singapore
4. New Zealand
5. UAE
5. Australia
5. Canada

#1 for Economics - Switzerland

Switzerland shines for the second year running, offering unrivalled financial wellbeing and a strong economy for expats. Nearly nine in ten (87%) expats living there in Switzerland feel confident about the political stability of the country and four in five (80%) feel confident about its economy. Three quarters (75%) of expats say earning prospects are better in Switzerland than they are in their home country, with an average annual income of USD188,000.

#1 for Experience - New Zealand

 New Zealand leads the way for an unrivalled expat experience. The vast majority (83%) of expats praise the country’s environment as better than in their home country, and nearly three quarters (73%) say their quality of life has improved, compared to 52% of expats globally. Nearly three quarters (72%) of expats in New Zealand say they are integrating well with the local people and culture.

#1 for Family – Sweden

Sweden offers an excellent environment for expat families. Three quarters (75%) of expat parents in Sweden rate their children’s quality of life as better than back home. Nearly half (46%) say the quality of education in Sweden is better and 72% say it is less expensive. A similar proportion (75%) believe the quality of childcare available in Sweden is better than it is at home.

The volume of insights we’ve uncovered through the 2016 Expat Explorer survey is truly astonishing, and we’ll be sharing our favourite insights over the coming months on twitter @expatexplorer– a truly essential follow for anyone thinking about life abroad. You can check out the full survey results, or read more of our key findings.

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