Singapore top venue for expats seeking better career, pay and life: Poll

Singapore top venue for expats seeking better career, pay and life: Poll

Singapore top venue for expats seeking better career, pay and life: Poll


For the second year in a row, Singapore has taken the top spot in HSBC’s Expat Explorer country league table, while Switzerland offers the best wages and Sweden is the best for families. 

New Zealand and Canada followed close behind, taking second and third place, respectively, in the overall Expat Explorer country league table.

Turkey ranked 39th on the 45-country list by taking the highest score in the experience criterion, where it ranked 18th. 

Now in its ninth year, Expat Explorer is the largest and one of the longest running surveys of expats, with 26,871 respondents sharing their views on life abroad including careers, financial wellbeing, quality of life and ease of settling for children. 

Expatriates in Singapore enjoy some of the world’s best financial rewards and career opportunities, while benefiting from an excellent quality of life and a safe, family-friendly environment, according to the survey. 

More than three in five expats in Singapore said it was a good place to progress their career, with the same proportion seeing their earnings rise after moving to the country (compared with 43 percent and 42 percent, respectively, of expats globally). 

The average annual income for expats in Singapore is $139,000 (compared with $97,000 across the world), while nearly a quarter (23 percent) earn more than $200,000 (more than twice the global expat average of 11 percent).

Overall, 66 percent of expats agreed that Singapore offers a better quality of life than their home country (compared to 52 percent of expats globally), while three-quarters (75 percent) said the quality of education in Singapore is better than at home, the highest proportion in the world (global average 43 percent). 
When earnings were considered the main priority, Switzerland ranked first in the survey’s economics table, while Singapore was second. 

New Zealand and Spain took first and second place in the experience country league table, scoring highly on criteria such as quality of life and ease of getting set-up in a new country. The majority of expats say they moved to New Zealand (59 percent) and Spain (56 percent) to improve their quality of life, compared to 32 percent of expats globally. Canada ranked third in this category. 

Sweden remained the best place for expat families in the 2016 ranking, with the Czech Republic in second place. Almost 70 percent of expat parents living in Sweden said their children’s health and wellbeing had improved since moving. 

Millennials want more purpose in their careers

Nearly a quarter (22 percent) of expats aged 18-34 moved abroad to find more purpose in their career, according to the survey. This compares to 14 percent of those aged 34-54 and only 7 percent of those aged 55 and over. Millennials are also the most likely to embrace expat life in search of a new challenge: More than two in five (43 percent) said this, compared with 38 percent of those aged 34-54 and only 30 percent of those aged 55 and over. Millennials are finding the purpose they seek, with almost half (49 percent) reporting that they are more fulfilled at work than they were in their home country.

Around two in five expats said that moving abroad accelerated their progress towards saving for retirement (40 percent) or towards buying a property (41 percent), compared to around one in five (20 percent and 19 percent respectively) whose move abroad has slowed their progress towards these financial goals.