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The Top 34 World’s Most Desirable Destination Among Expatriates 2014

As it turns out, Switzerland is the most favorite destination among expats in the world, followed by Singapore and China, according to research by the British bank HSBC.

It revealed more than half (51%) of Switzerland-based expats report a better work/life balance, availability of outdoor activities, and the family-centric culture since moving there.

With a trusted economy, comfortable salaries, and good quality of life: a quarter of expats in Switzerland said they earned more than $200,000 a year. The lowest-ranked of the 34 countries was Egypt, followed by the United Kingdom and Brazil.

Singapore clinched the 2nd spot. Singapore’s safety, efficiency, high-quality accommodation and vibrant food scene are top draws for expats.

China ranked in third place. China is home to the largest proportion of  highest-paid expats in the world – almost one in four expats living earn more than $300,000 per annum compared with the global average of 5%t.

HSBC’s 2014 Expat Explorer Survey, one of the largest global surveys of expats, is based on a survey of  9,288 expats, from over 100 countries on quality of life, financial well-being and the ease of raising a family abroad, mostly aged between 35 and 54.


Factors influencing the expatriate

1. Expat Economics:  looks at a range of factors including expat earning levels, saving and investing patterns, and the impact of the current global financial climate, to paint an informed picture of expats’ economic situation around the world.

2. Expat Experience:  covers an expat’s lifestyle, especially the level of ease or difficulty in which expats can set up in their new country, how well they integrate into
the local community, and their overall quality of life.

3. Raising Children Abroad: reveals the best place for expat families to bring up children abroad.

4. Expat Expenses: unveils the most cost-effective countries for expats to live based on everyday expenses

Key findings:

1. Asia is home to the highest-paid expats, who are almost 3 times more likely to earn over $250,000 per annum than their counterparts in Europe (14 percent compared with 5 percent in Europe).

2. Asia becoming new hotspot for Adventurous expats. Over two-fifths (44%) say that they moved to Asia because they wanted to have a new challenge.

3. High growth ‘EAGLE’ economies such as Brazil, China, India, Turkey, Taiwan, and Mexico are popular countries for companies looking to send their employees abroad.

4. Why India?

  • Lower living costs and good perks for families make India an increasingly attractive expat destination.
  • Expats in India reported that they were able to benefit from cheaper living costs as well as finding the country a great destination for bringing up a family.
  • India ranks in the top ten in the Raising Children Abroad league tables at 6th place, with 44% of expats reporting that the cost of raising children there is lower than in their home country.
  • This is helped by the cheaper childcare, (which costs less for 46% of expats compared to an average of 20% globally), and cheaper education (less expensive for 37% of expats in India, compared to 17% of expats globally).

5. Expats rate Taiwanese healthcare as one of the best in the world in terms of affordability and quality.

6. The average annual expat salary in Asia is $120,000 per annum, compared with the global average of $92,000 per annum.

7. This is followed by expats in the Middle East earning $84,000 per annum, while Europe-based expats earn an average salary of $78,000 per annum.

8. For expat retirees, Canada and New Zealand emerge as the most popular destination.

Best countries for expats:

RankCountryScore: All criteria
5 Bahrain 0.51
6 New Zealand 0.50
7 Thailand 0.49
8 Taiwan 0.49
9 India 0.49
10 Hong Kong0.48
11Canada 0.48
15 United Arab Emirates 0.47
16 Vietnam 0.46
17 Russia 0.45
18 Japan 0.45
21 Mexico 0.43
22 South Africa 0.43
23 France 0.41
24 Spain 0.41
25 Ireland 0.40
27 Netherlands 0.40
28 Saudi Arabia 0.40
30United States 0.38
31 Italy 0.37
32 Brazil 0.36
33 United Kingdom 0.35

“Not only are Switzerland-based expats enjoying the good climate and pleasant scenery, with the country home to the sportiest expats, but over half of the expats there also say they have a better work/life balance than they had at home,” said Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat.

“For expat parents, they note how their children have a healthier lifestyle and overall are enjoying a better quality of life,” he said.

top destination for expats
Top destination for expats – 2014
High earning expats
High earning expats seek destinations with strong projected GDP growth…


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Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj

Dr. Amarendra Bhushan DhirajVerified account

CEO and editorial director at CEOWORLD Magazine
Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj is the CEO and editorial director at CEOWORLD magazine, the leading global business magazine written strictly for CEOs, CFOs, top managers, company directors, investors, senior executives, business leaders, high net worth individuals, and the most globally powerful men and women.
Dr. Amarendra Bhushan Dhiraj

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