Singapore tops expat survey for second time in days

by Ray Clancy on September 25, 2015

For the second time in less than a week Singapore has been voted as the best place in the world for expats to live, scoring highly for careers, salaries and quality of life.

It took first place in the NatWest International Personal Banking (IPB) Quality of Life Index and is now top of the Expat Explorer world league table from international bank HSBC.

092515-singapore-marina-sandsIn second place is New Zealand, followed by Sweden, Bahrain, Germany, Canada and Australia with Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates and Switzerland making up the rest of the top 10.

The annual survey found that 28% of expats in Singapore earn more than US$200,000 per annum compared to 13% of expats globally while 50% said that the city state is a place for career development and 79% are confident about the Singapore economy.

Overall, 67% of expats say Singapore offers a better quality of life than their home country and 65% of parents say their children’s health and wellbeing has improved since moving there.

The Expat Explorer survey, commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by YouGov is now in its eighth year and claims to be the largest and one of the longest running surveys of expats, with 21,950 respondents sharing their views on different aspects of life abroad.

This year it found that a better quality of life and the desire to take on a new challenge are the main reasons for making a move abroad. In both cases, 37% of expats say these are the reasons why they moved, while 26% did so to improve their job prospects. In fact, 61% of expats haven’t benefited from an immediate salary increase since moving.

Expats are dedicated to experiencing as much as possible during their time abroad and only 11% say they haven’t immersed themselves into their new culture. Destinations where expats are the most likely to have moved to improve their quality of life are New Zealand at 71%, Spain at 61% and Portugal at 56%.

The vast majority of expats living in the world’s financial hubs of Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong or London agree they are good places to start a new business at 87%, 86%, 85% and 85% respectively. This is much higher than the global average of 56%.

A high level of confidence in the local economy is another reason why these economic hubs suit the entrepreneurial spirit: 78% of expats in Singapore and 60% in Hong Kong feel confident about the local economy.

The opportunity to broaden their skillset is a further upside for expat entrepreneurs who have settled in one of these cities. Indeed, some 64% of expats in London have acquired new skills since moving, compared to 43% globally.

‘Living abroad allows people to realise 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,.

‘As global mobility continues to increase, expat life is more attainable than ever before. Expats need services that keep up with their changing needs, as managing money overseas remains a challenge. Indeed, 74% tell us their finances have become more complex in some way since moving, which highlights the value of seeking help with this aspect of life,’ he added.

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