LONDON – HSBC has published an ranking of the best countries for expats to live, based on its annual expat explorer report.
The report itself was based on an online YouGov survey of nearly 27,587 expats from 159 countries.
The pollster asked expats 27 questions across three subindexes: economics, experience, and family.
The economics league table uses a score that summarises expats views about a country and its expats, covering wage levels, career progression, and the local economy.
The experience league table quizzed expats on the lifestyle they have in their adopted country, covering local culture, safety, ease of forming friendships, and the ease of setting up a new home.
The family league table was based upon expats’ attitudes towards family life in their adopted countries, covering expat social life, education costs, and the ease of children making friends.
The three subindexes were then collated and used to create an overall ranking based on an average score, given out of one.
See who made the list below:
17. Spain — Spain is now 17th (down one place) even though it is has a very positive experience score of 0.62. The country’s poor employment prospects mean lower salaries, which drags it down on the index.
16. Portugal — Portugal is a new entrant to this year’s league table. There, 42% of expats are retired, compared with just 11% globally, drawn to a better climate, lower cost of living, and a more appealing lifestyle. Almost all expats (96%) who had retired to Portugal rated it as a good or very good country to retire to.
- Shutterstock/ Lukasz Janyst
15. Oman — The oil-rich Gulf state scores highly on the economics and experience subindexes at 0.56 and 0.55 respectively. However, it ranked just 32nd on the family subindex with a 0.38 score. The family subindex measures factors including educational attainment, social life, and the ease of children making friends.
14. India — India rose 12 places to 14th from last year’s league table. Against a backdrop of extensive economic reforms, expats in India report high levels of confidence in the local economy (71% compared with 65% in the South andCentral Asia and 53% globally) and political stability (58% compared with 54% regionally and 45% globally).
- Unsplash/Jayakumar Ananthan
13. Bahrain — Bahrain registered highly across each subindex, with an overall score of 0.51. It scored 0.54 in both the Economics and Experience subindex, but a comparatively lowly 0.45 in the family subindex.
- Flickr/Chris Price
12. Czech Republic — The Czech Republic scores 0.56 for economics, 0.52 for experience, and 0.45 for family.
11. Switzerland — Switzerland is the best destination in the world for economics with a 0.69 score. It is the highest ranked country for confidence in the local economy and political stability.
10. United Arab Emirates — Ranked tenth overall, the UAE attracts a wide range of people keen to live and work away from home. Three-quarters (75%) of expats said they can earn more in the oil-rich state than they did in their home country – typically Europe or South and Central Asia.
9. Austria — Austria scores 0.56 for economics and experience, and 0.44 for family. The relatively low family score was driven by a 0.33 measure for relationships, which was based on questions relating to ease of social life for expats.
- Martin Froyda/Shuttestock
8. Sweden — Sweden scored well across the subindexes but did particularly well in family. Northern European countries dominate this year’s family league table, headed up by the Netherlands, which pushed Sweden into second place from first last year.
7. Australia — Expats move to Australia for the sunny weather and good employment prospects. There are plenty of reasons to stay. More than a third (34%) of those surveyed say their social life is better than at home and 75% feel they are integrating well with their culture, compared to a global average of 64%.
6. Canada — Expats in Canada say their new home is stable, safe, and very friendly.Expats ranked the North American country as one of the most welcoming and tolerant of diversity: 76% say their new home is more open-minded than the country they come from.
- Wikipedia Commons
5. Netherlands — The Netherlands ranked as the best destination for family. It stands out for the better health and wellbeing of expat children (76%) and better quality of education (72%) it offers expats.
4. Germany — Germany finished third on the economics subindex and 5th on the family subindex, with scores of 0.65 and 0.50 respectively. It was dragged down by its 0.52 experience score, which ranked at 16th on the subindex.
3. New Zealand — New Zealand is the best destination for experience with a 0.61 score. 58% of expats said they moved there to improve their quality of life.
2. Norway — Norway scored consistently highly across the subindexes, ranking at second for economics, sixth for experience, and fourth for family.
- Dmitry Tkachenko Photo / Shutterstock
1. Singapore — Known as the Garden City, expats have ranked the Asian city-state as the best global destination for three years consecutively. It scores well above the global average by almost every measure. More than a quarter (26%) of expats ranked Singapore’s education system as “excellent” compared to a global average of 10%, and 64% of expats said their quality of life has improved as a result of moving to Singapore.
- Jirka Matousek/Flickr