Singapore has been named the best destination for expats by HSBC for a second year in a row, focusing on factors like financial rewards, career opportunities and quality of life.
The HSBC Expat Explorer found that more than three in five (62%) expats in Singapore describe it as a good place to progress their career, with the same proportion seeing their earnings rise after moving. The average income for expats in Singapore is $139,000, compared with $97,000 around the world, while nearly a quarter (23%) earn over $200,000.
Overall, 66% of expats agree that Singapore 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%).
Millennials drawn to purpose
While the financial and quality of life benefits are obvious, the research also found that Millennials are more likely to move abroad to find more purpose in their career. Just 14% of 34-54 year olds moved for this reason, and just 7% of over 55s. But 22% of 18-34 year olds moved in search of greater purpose.
Millennials are also the most likely to embrace expat life in search of a new challenge: more than two in five (43%) agreed, compared with 38% of those aged 34-54 and 30% of over 55s. Half (49%) of Millennials said they had found what they were looking for, reporting they feel more fulfilled in their work than in their home country.
Accelerate to financial goals
Far from slowing progress towards their longer-term financial goals, expats find many are fast-tracked by life abroad. Around two in five expats say that moving abroad has accelerated their progress towards saving for retirement (40%) or towards buying a property (41%), compared to around one in five (20% and 19% respectively) whose move abroad has slowed their progress towards these financial goals. Almost a third (29%) of expats say living abroad has helped them to save towards their children's education more quickly, compared to only 15% who say it has slowed them down.
No.1 for economics
Switzerland shines for the second year in a row, offering unrivalled financial wellbeing and a strong economy for expats. Nearly nine in ten (87%) living there feel confident about the political stability of the country and four in five feel confident about its economy. Three quarters of expats say the earning prospects are better in Switzerland than in their home country, with an average annual income of $188,000. Nearly three quarters (71%) of expats in Switzerland are able to save more of their income, while 73% have more disposable income. This compares to the global expat average of 53% and 56% respectively.
No.1 for experience
New Zealand leads the way for an unrivalled expat experience. The vast majority (83%) of expats in New Zealand praise the country's environment as better that in their home country, and 73% say their quality of life has improved. Globally, the average expat figure is just 52%. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of expats said they have integrated well with the local people and culture, and the majority (57%) agree that New Zealand welcomes people regardless of faith, race, gender and sexual orientation.
No.1 for family
Sweden offers an excellent environment for expat families. Three quarters 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.
Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat, said: "Expats consistently tell us that moving abroad has helped them achieve their ambitions and long-term financial goals, from getting access to better education for their children to buying property or saving more for retirement. Most expats also find that their quality of life has improved since making the move - and that they are integrating well with the local people and culture."