Singapore Ranked First Among Expats for Places to Work and Live
Singapore has always been a popular destination for expats, and for the fourth year in a row, Singapore has proven that by ranking first among the expats as the best places in the world to work and live.
HSBC conducted the HSBC Expat Explorer by YouGov survey which involved 22,318 expats in March and April, and Singapore came out on top among the 31 other countries included in the survey. This despite the fact that expats working in Hong Kong are being paid more on average. Singapore’s rankings were better in terms of overall quality of life and family benefits.
The findings of the survey revealed that Singapore’s expats commanded salaries which were more than 30% above the global average, and that many expats had made the choice to move to Singapore for the betterment of their careers (45%). Other expats surveyed revealed that they moved to Singapore to improve their earnings (38%). For an expat, the average annual income in Singapore is US$160,000 (SGD$221, 522), which was a 29% increase from the salaries they could get in their own home country.
In terms of annual income for expats in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore comes in third behind Hong Kong and China. The average wage for expats in Hong Kong was US$180,000 while China provided earning potential of US$170,000 annually. Switzerland was where expats could earn the most for their jobs, at US$203,000 per year.
Aside from the salary package, expats voted that Singapore was a good place for those with families. Nearly three-quarters of the expats surveyed by HSBC said their children enjoyed better overall quality of life, with 60% of the expats stating that quality childcare and education was considered much better in Singapore than at home, while another 60% said their child’s health and wellbeing had improved as a result.
The political and economic stability offered by Singapore was another factor that four out of five expats were confident in. 78% of the expats surveyed said they would recommend Singapore to anyone who was considering moving abroad. In Singapore, more than a quarter of the expats were originally sent by their employers (27%), but almost half (47%) chose to remain because of the safe environment, vibrant city and excellent quality of life for the family.
Not All Smooth Sailing
However, 46% of the expats did reveal that working in Singapore can be stressful, with 46% of the expats stating that the stress levels experienced here were far more than what they were accustomed to back home. More than half of the expats said that their work-life balance was either the same or worse than it was back home. Three quarters of the expats surveyed were employed full-time.
A factor could be the high cost of living, which was a problem for some expats with only 26% owning a property in the country. Two out of four expats revealed that they could not afford to purchase a home in Singapore, and therefore many choose to buy one in their home country.
At the same time, Singaporeans who have gone abroad in the hopes of a better future have admitted that they experienced a better work-life balance overseas than they did in Singapore. Half of those surveyed claimed to have found personal fulfilment when it came to working abroad.
51% of Singaporeans abroad surveyed found that coming from a well-organized, structured and carefully managed culture like Singapore has made them more adaptable for the great global unknown.