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Thailand tops the charts for expat experience

October 31, 2013

Five Asian destinations are at the top the Expat Experience league table. Switzerland, China and Qatar rank in top 3 for expat earning potential. HSBC Expat reveals a brand new look and feel to its Interactive Expat Explorer tool to host this year’s result.


Now in its sixth year, the Expat Explorer survey, the world’s largest global survey of expats, shows that Asia is leading the way as a destination for expat quality of life.

Five out of the top 10 destinations in the 2013 Expat Explorer Experience league table, ranked by expats for quality of life, ease of setting up and integration, are in Asia. Thailand ranks first, with China, Singapore, India and Taiwan making up third, sixth, seventh and eighth place respectively, according to the research commissioned by HSBC Expat.

Top 10 destinations for Expat Experience

  1. Thailand
  2. Bahrain
  3. China
  4. Cayman Islands
  5. Australia
  6. Singapore
  7. India
  8. Taiwan
  9. Spain
  10. Brazil

Expats in these Asian destinations were more likely to find it easy to make friends since moving abroad (Thailand 76%, Singapore 63%, Taiwan 63%, China 59% and India 57% compared with the global average of 57%) as well as enjoying a more active social life upon relocation (Thailand 59%, China 44%, India 37%, Taiwan 36% and Singapore 29% compared with the global average of 26%).

Indeed, the survey of over 7,000 expats worldwide revealed that expats across Asia were more likely to enjoy a better social life. More than a third (35%) of expats based in the region agree they have a more active social life since relocating, compared with the global average of only 26%.

In addition to quality of life abroad, the Expat Explorer survey also looks at expat financial wellbeing and factors important to expat families, to paint a comprehensive view of expat life.

When looking at the Expat Explorer Economics league table, which ranks countries based on factors such as earning potential, disposable income and satisfaction with economic outlook, Switzerland, China and Qatar take up the top three spots.

Top 10 destinations for Expat Economics

  1. Switzerland
  2. China
  3. Qatar
  4. Thailand
  5. Cayman Islands
  6. Indonesia
  7. Germany
  8. Oman
  9. Singapore
  10. Turkey

Expats in these destinations are more likely to notice an improvement in their financial status upon moving (Switzerland 75%, Qatar 73% and China 72% compared to the global average of 59%) as well as being satisfied with the present state of the economy in their host country (China 87%, Switzerland 86% and Qatar 84% compared to a global average of 56%).

For expat parents, European destinations have been ranked as attractive locations to bring up children abroad. Four European countries rank within the top 10 places for the Expat Explorer Raising Children Abroad league table, including Germany (1st), France (3rd), Belgium (6th) and Spain (9th). Germany, France and Spain in particular, offer expat parents a desirable mix of cost-efficient and high quality childcare.

Top 10 destinations for Raising Children Abroad

  1. Germany
  2. Singapore
  3. France
  4. New Zealand
  5. South Africa
  6. Belgium
  7. Australia
  8. Canada
  9. Spain
  10. Russia

The results of the Expat Explorer survey are also live on the newly designed Expat Explorer Interactive tool, which is now fully optimised for mobile and tablet devices for expats on the go. The tool shows how the countries rank across all three factors: Expat Economics, Expat Experience and Raising Children Abroad. Expats can see how their country compares in this year’s Expat Explorer survey by visiting the interactive tool:

Commenting on the findings, Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, says:

“The results from the annual Expat Explorer survey are always eagerly anticipated among the expat community and those looking to build a life abroad. This year, the results show Asia to be the leading destination for expat quality of life, with the region also emerging as an expat social hotspot.

“With a record number of expats participating this year, the Expat Explorer survey provides an even more comprehensive picture of life abroad, the challenges expats face and the idiosyncrasies that make the expat experience unique. The insights, available on our newly designed interactive online tool, are not only of practical help to the global expat community, but also guides us as a business to continue helping customers make the most of the new opportunities available to them while they are living and working abroad.”

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