Singapore best place for expats in HSBC survey, Bahrain in 4th

Singapore skyline

Just to add to an earlier post, in recent weeks we’ve seen published the Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist, EIU’s Global Liveability Ranking, ECA International’s Cost of Living survey, the Expat Insider survey from InterNations, and now we have HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey. With Christmas coming, expect to see “and a partridge in a pear tree” added to this growing list before the year ends.

HSBC’s 8th annual Expat Explorer (PDF report here) compares countries based on information from almost 21,290 expats. The survey makes good use of digital technologies, allowing website and mobile users to easily compare countries based on economic, experience and family criteria, generating quantitative data and qualitative statements.

While a fairly predictable order, Bahrain in 4th place might surprise some:

  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. Bahrain
  4. Germany
  5. Canada
  6. Australia
  7. Taiwan
  8. UAE
  9. Switzerland
  10. Hong Kong

Singapore emerged top, with 67% of expat residents claiming that their quality of life is better in the city-state than it was back home (Southeast Asia is also overall best for “career satisfaction”).

Singapore can be a bit of a divisive place, but there’s no absolutely no doubting its tremendous success over the years – something that the tiny nation was keen to celebrate when marking its 50th anniversary recently. As HSBC’s Expat Explorer 2015 report explained:

Singapore emerges as the best place overall to live and work as an expat. People who live there praise Singapore as a true all-rounder. Its streets are safe, job opportunities are plentiful, wages are high and it offers plenty to see and do.

Looking at individual categories, Switzerland emerged best for economics, New Zealand is first for experience and Sweden is top for family.

Ecuador tops InterNations quality of living survey


August: everyone’s favourite month for surveys (can’t think why). Coming hot on the heels of the Lonely Planet’s Ultimate Travelist, EIU’s Global Liveability Ranking and ECA International’s Cost of Living survey is the Expat Insider survey from international expat network InterNations.

The InterNations survey polled 14,400 expats in 195 countries on their quality of living, across various categories. South American country Ecuador came top overall for quality of life, followed by Mexico, Malta and Southeast Asian powerhouse Singapore:

Top Expat Destinations 2015 - infographicKuwait finished bottom, followed by Greece, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Russia.

Curiously, Ecuador has just been described in less than favourable terms by Bloomberg Business: Everything Is Going Wrong In Ecuador.

In other categories, Myanmar in Southeast Asia was named the most welcoming country:Most Welcoming Countries for Expats 2015 - infographicNordic countries meanwhile came out top of in terms of work-life balance and working hours. Sweden showed the best work-life balance, while the shortest work week was in Norway (just 40.4 hours). The longest work works were reported to be in African countries: Uganda (50.8 hours) and Nigeria (49.9 hours).

Deckchair vs. Desk Chair - infographic