Asian countries have the best quality of life for expats with a leading global survey showing that Thailand is first and four other countries in the region place in the top ten.


Switzerland, China and Qatar rank in the top three for expat earning potential and Germany is the top destination for expat parents, the findings of the HSBC sixth annual Expat Explorer survey shows.

China, Singapore, India and Taiwan are third, sixth, seventh and eighth respectively for the quality of life, making Asia the dominant region. Expats in these Asian destinations were more likely to find it easy to make friends since moving abroad. Some 76% in Thailand, 63% in Singapore, 59% in China and 57% in India said this was the case.

‘The results from the annual Expat Explorer survey are always eagerly anticipated among the expat community and those looking to build a life abroad. This year, the results show Asia to be the leading destination for expat quality of life, with the region also emerging as an expat social hotspot,’ said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat.

In addition to quality of life abroad, the Expat Explorer survey also looks at expat financial well-being and factors important to expat families to paint a comprehensive view of expat life.

Expats in Switzerland, China and Qatar are more likely to notice an improvement in their financial status upon moving with 75% in Switzerland, 73% in Qatar and 72% in China saying so. Some 87% in China, 86% in Switzerland and 84% in Qatar said they are satisfied with the present state of the economy in their host country. This is compared to a global average of just 56%.

‘With a record number of expats participating this year, the Expat Explorer survey provides an even more comprehensive picture of life abroad, the challenges expats face and the idiosyncrasies that make the expat experience unique,’ he explained.

For expat parents, European destinations have been ranked as attractive locations to bring up children abroad. This year Germany ranks top with France in third place, Belgium in sixth and Spain in ninth place. Germany, France and Spain in particular, offer expat parents a desirable mix of cost efficient and high quality childcare.

‘The insights, available on our newly designed interactive online tool, are not only of practical help to the global expat community, but also guides us as a business to continue helping customers make the most of the new opportunities available to them while they are living and working abroad,’ concluded Blackburn.