An online survey conducted by HSBC Bank has ranked Singapore as the top overall destination for expatriates, with South-east Asian countries also faring strongly – for those without children, that is.
The results, released on Monday, canvassed more than 3,500 expats in 31 countries. Factoring in three criteria – economics, experience and raising children abroad – Singapore was on top of the list, followed by Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Australia.
The survey on the HSBC Expat Explorer website said that Singapore was the top choice for expatriates here because those working here saw their disposable incomes jump after relocating to the Republic.
Other factors cited were Singapore’s efficient transportation network and quality education for their children, with schools that they could easily fit into as well, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Taking out the “raising children abroad” criteria, which covered 10 countries, Thailand and Saudi Arabia narrowly came out on top with a score of 0.52, followed by Singapore (0.51), Egypt, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Malaysia, the Philippines, Mexico and Japan.
That is four South-east Asian countries in that top 10 list.
HSBC failed to get enough data on the expat-children criteria from Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines to officially rank them, and does not necessarily mean they scored badly in the category which looked at education, safety and outdoor activities, among other factors.
One of the main reasons why this region did so well in the first two criteria is that expats enjoy a more luxurious lifestyle due to the generally lower cost of living in the region.
“Expats in developing countries such as South Africa, Thailand and the Philippines are much more likely to have more luxuries since relocating from their home country,” HSBC said in its report on the survey.
“The main luxuries that expats in these countries benefit from compared to their home country are: Domestic staff, swimming pools, owning their property or owning more than one property.”