HR & Management

Expat workers choose Singapore for careers and Sweden for love

4 min read

23 September 2015

Singapore has come out on top for offering the best quality of life and career prospects for expats.

Singapore has been voted the paradise destination for expat workers and entrepreneurs who have been swayed by its high salaries, career prospects and quality of life.

The Asian city state took the top spot in the eighth HSBC Expat Explorer country league table, which surveyed expats from over 100 countries, with New Zealand second, followed by Sweden, Bahrain and Germany.

The survey looked at different aspects of life abroad, including careers, financial wellbeing, quality of life and ease of settling for partners and children.

It found that 28 per cent of expats in Singapore earned more than $200,000 (£130,702.30) a year compared to 13 per cent globally.

A total of 59 per cent said Singapore was a place for career development, with 79 per cent confident about its economy.

Overall, 67 per cent said Singapore offered a better quality of life than their home country and 65 per cent of parents said their children’s health and wellbeing had improved since moving there.

The vast majority of expats living in the world’s financial hubs of Singapore (87 per cent), Dubai (86 per cent), Hong Kong (85 per cent) or London (85 per cent) agreed they were good places to start a new business. That is much higher than the global average of 56 per cent.

Read more about workers abroad:

A high level of confidence in the local economy is another reason why these economic
hubs suited the entrepreneurial spirit, said HSBC.

The opportunity to broaden skills was another attraction for expat entrepreneurs
who have settled in one of the financial hubs. Some 64 per cent of expats in London said they had acquired new skills since moving, compared to 43 per cent globally.

However, the survey added that expats also looked beyond financial rewards. A better quality of life and the desire to take on a new challenge were found to be the main
reasons for making a move abroad. In both cases, 37 per cent of expats said these were the reasons why they had moved, compared to just over a quarter who said they did so to improve their job prospects. In fact, 61 per cent of expats hadn’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 per cent said they hadn’t immersed themselves into the new culture.

Destinations where expats are the most likely to have moved to improve their quality of life are New Zealand, Spain and Portugal.

Those living in the Middle East said they benefited more from health and medical allowances, annual trips home and airfare and accommodation allowances than other regions.

Sweden took the top spot as the best destination for expat family life with or without children. Expat parents in Sweden praised the childcare available and the ease of arranging and paying for education.

It is also the best country to find romance with 39 per cent finding a long term partner there.

Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat, said: “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. As global mobility continues to increase, expat life is more attainable than ever before.”