HSBC Expat Explorer 2018 - Part 1


Fraser Clarke

HSBC has published the results of its annual ‘Expat Explorer’ survey, with Singapore once again leading the way as the most popular location for expats globally.

In the first of a two part special we’ll examine the results from around the world, with part two focusing exclusively on the hugely popular Gulf region.

Singapore - 1st (-)

Singapore retains its crown as the most popular location for expats worldwide, scoring highly in almost all of the 30 outcomes studied.

Expats Loved

  • Singapore’s high quality schools - rated as the best in the survey
  • The stable political climate
  • The positive impact a move had on their careers
  • The high quality, modern healthcare system
  • Singapore was rated as one of the safest countries in the world
  • The financial security of a move

Expats’ Downsides

  • High quality childcare and education comes at a cost
  • People found it difficult to integrate and make friends
  • The work/life balance couldn’t rival Australia or New Zealand

New Zealand - 2nd (-)

New Zealand has remained in second place, despite its remote location, with expats continuing to love life in the country.

Expats Loved

  • New Zealand’s healthcare system was rated as the best in the world
  • Expats also loved the impact a move to the country had on their health
  • The country’s famous work/life balance continued to impress
  • The financial security of a move was world leading
  • The stable political climate created plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs

Expats’ Downsides

  • Don’t expect a move to be hugely financially lucrative
  • Finding the perfect accommodation at an attractive price was troublesome
  • Expats also didn’t rate the social experience, with many working in small, rural towns

Canada - 4th (-)
Joining Singapore and New Zealand in an unchanged position is Canada, considered by many to be one of the world’s friendliest countries.

Expats Loved

  • Canada’s extremely tolerant and inclusive society
  • They found the country great for entrepreneurs
  • The high quality of living
  • How easy it was to integrate into society
  • The financial security

Expats’ Downsides

  • Despite the inclusive society, expats found it difficult to make friends
  • This was also reflected in a lower than average social life score
  • The high cost of living (especially in the cities) made a move less financially rewarding than one to the Gulf

Australia - 6th - (-1)

Australia drops one position, but remains comfortably inside the top ten in HSBC’s 2018 report.

Expats Loved

  • The high quality of life for them and their families
  • The positive impact a move had on their physical and mental health
  • How easy it was to integrate into society
  • The country’s well structured healthcare system

Expats’ Downsides

  • The cost of raising children was high
  • A move didn’t enhance their savings
  • The quality and variety of property available was not as extensive as elsewhere

Vietnam - 19th - (+4)

Vietnam continues to impress, as one of Asia’s newest success stories.

Expats Loved

  • Nowhere in the world was better for boosting your savings
  • The country’s low cost of living was great for someone seeking to maximise their disposable income
  • Expats found making friends easy
  • They were also very impressed by the standard and value of accommodation 

Expats’ Downsides

  • The country’s busy cities weren’t the best environment for those seeking a healthy life
  • The quality of healthcare in all but the top private facilities was sketchy
  • The same was said about the quality of educational facilities

China - 27th - (+3)

China continues to rise, however polluted cities and a shy native population mean that it remains at the lower end of the list.

Expats Loved

  • A move was great for career progression
  • Expats also found it surprisingly financially lucrative
  • The quality of education was amongst the highest in Asia
  • A move came with a great deal of long-term economic security

Expats’ Downsides

  • A high paced working environment lead to a poor work/life balance
  • Expats found integration difficult
  • Expats also found tolerance levels far lower than elsewhere in the world

Remember and check our website next week for part two - looking at the Gulf region.

Would you be interested in a move to any of the countries in this list? Register online today for job alerts - a dream move could be closer than you might imagine.