The latest HSBC study showed Singapore as the no. 1 country in the hearts of expats. According to the report, expats are “drawn to this global financial hub with its strong and stable economy.” As proof, 45% of all expats in the country moved up the ladder in their respective professions and 38% stayed because they are sure their earnings will improve.
The same study showed that expats in Singapore earn an average annual salary of $162,000 (£127,350) – $56,000 (£44,000) more than the global average. Practically half (47%) of those who moved there to work said they stayed because the country offered an extremely favorable quality of life for them and their families. Of all expat parents residing in Singapore, 60% said their children’s health and wellbeing was better than in their home country.
According to the expat-respondents in the survey, Singapore offers the best overall package which covers career progression, work/life balance, healthcare, tolerance and the ability to make new friends.
Singapore was followed by New Zealand, Germany came in third place, followed by Canada and Bahrain, the latter having risen four places in the rankings since 2017. The Middle Eastern country came top for wage growth in this year’s survey.
The biggest surprise on the list was Ireland, as it climbed to the 10th place from 28th then to 18th between 2017 and 2018.
The UK was ranked 22nd, five places up from last year’s report and one higher than the US.
Objections to and misconceptions about expats
Many Singaporeans expressed concern over the number of new citizens accepted into Singapore. In 2017 alone, there were over 22,000, the second highest in the last 11 years. This is because foreign talent has been perceived as the major culprit taking away good jobs that could have been filled up by local Singaporeans. Nevertheless, Singaporeans don’t mind so much the inflow of foreign workers as long as what they get are lower-paying jobs that local people really do not want. Another objection is that the influx of these foreigners can make Singapore more crowded and less livable.