Both Singapore and Norway offer expats a stable economic and political environment while giving them a fulfilling experience and an improved family life, according to the HSBC Expat Explorer survey.
As well as unveiling the best places in the world to live as an expat, the survey also found that life abroad typically increases expats’ income by 25%, with the average expat earning just under $100,000 a year. Far from compromising their wellbeing, expats seem to find the right balance. Four in ten expats adopt a more positive outlook on life after moving abroad, with 44% becoming more physically active.
Confidence in the political stability and local economy, a great quality of life (64% say it is better than at home) and a positive experience for families are among the reasons why Singapore has topped the table.
Indeed, 73% say the country offers better earning prospects than their home country and two-thirds enjoy more disposable income. Expats moving to Singapore report an average 42% increase in their annual income compared to home, to almost $118,000.
Not only is Singapore a land of economic opportunity, it is also a top destination to raise a family. Four in five expats feel safer there than at home and 72% of expat parents rate the quality of education and the health and well-being of their children better than in their home country..
But expat life in Singapore can come at a price. Expats are less likely to see an improvement in their work/life balance than those in other destinations. More than four in five expat parents find that the cost of raising children in Singapore is more expensive than at home.
Norway, meanwhile, is up four places in the league table and narrowly misses out on the top spot. The majority of expats in Norway say that their work/life balance has improved and 78% that the job security is better than at home. Furthermore, 82% of expat parents say that their children’s overall quality of life is better than at home, compared with 59% globally. These upsides are typical of the Nordic model, characterised by a flexible and yet secure employment market as well as free education and universal healthcare.