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October 2017

Life abroad typically increases expats’ income by 25 percent

Published: Wednesday 18 October 2017

By David Fuller 

Singapore has been rated by expats as the best country in the world to live and work for the third year in a row.

In the 2017 HSBC Expat Explorer survey, Singapore saw off competition from Norway, which rose four places to come second and New Zealand, which fell one place to third.

Confidence in the political stability (83 percent) and local economy (73 percent), a great quality of life (64 percent say it is better than in their country of origin) and a positive experience for families are among the main reasons why Singapore has topped the Expat Explorer league table again.

However, life there is not all a bed of roses. Expats in Singapore are less likely to see an improvement in their work/life balance than those in other destinations (47 percent compared to 53 percent globally). More than four in five expat parents (84 percent) find that the cost of raising children in Singapore is more expensive than previously.
The survey also found that life abroad typically increases expats’ income by 25 percent no matter where they live, with the average expat earning just under US$100,000 a year. Far from compromising their wellbeing, expats seem to find the right balance. Four in ten (41 percent) expats adopt a more positive outlook on life after moving abroad, with 44 percent becoming more physically active.

In terms of economics, Switzerland offers expats the best chance to improve their salary, ahead of Norway and Germany. The survey found that 78 percent of Swiss expats say their salary is higher than it was before they relocated.

New Zealand comes top in the lifestyle experience league table. Almost three in five expats (58 percent) moved to the ‘land of the long white cloud’ to improve their quality of life, compared to just a third (34 percent) of expats globally.
The UK, however, has plummeted in the rankings, falling from 22nd to 35th place in the survey. 
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