Singapore the best place for expats to live, work: HSBC survey

Romesh Navaratnarajah22 Sep 2016


62 percent of expats in Singapore experience an increase in their earnings. (Photo: jjcb,

Singapore has emerged as the best destination for expats to live, work and bring up children for the second year running, revealed HSBC’s 2016 Expat Explorer Survey.

New Zealand follows in close second, while Canada, Czech Republic and Switzerland are in the third, fourth and fifth spots respectively.

According to HSBC, expats in the city-state “enjoy a good quality of life combined with strong career prospects and high earnings”.

In fact, 73 percent of expats in Singapore feel confident about the local economy, compared to 52 percent in the Asia-Pacific region. Moreover, 62 percent of the city-state’s expats said they earn more in Singapore than they would in their home country. This compares with 39 percent of expats in Asia-Pacific and 42 percent globally.

Three in five expats believe they can save more money here than in their own country, compared with 57 percent in Asia-Pacific and 53 percent globally. 62 percent of expats said the country is a good place for career progression, while 58 percent feel that Singapore is a good place to start a business.

Expats in Singapore earn an average income of US$139,000 (S$188,118) per year, significantly higher than the global average of US$97,000 (S$131,264).

“Expats in the country can also enjoy benefit packages from their employers, with 73 percent of expats receiving at least one benefit as part of their contract,” the most common of which is health and medical allowances, said HSBC.

Meanwhile, three in four expats say the quality of education in Singapore is better than in their home country, while 66 percent feel the overall quality of life is better than back home.

The Expat Explorer survey was completed by 26,871 expats from 190 countries through an online questionnaire in March and April this year.


Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, edited this story. To contact him about this or other stories, email


You may also like these articles

Singapore still fourth most expensive city for expats

Singapore is still the world's fourth most expensive city for expats. (Photo: chensiyuan; Wikimedia Commons) Singapore has maintained its ranking from last year as the world’s fourth most expensi

Continue Reading23 Jun 2016

An expat's guide to setting up their first home in Singapore

Start your expat life in Singapore with these handy tips! Image source: Make Room You’ve signed on the dotted line and you’re ready to move into your Singapore home! As you look around the spac

Continue Reading1 Sep 2016

Singapore named Asia’s most sustainable city

Singapore has launched a major drive to develop smart and green buildings, and also increase construction productivity. Singapore has been listed as Asia’s most sustainable city, and second in th

Continue Reading14 Sep 2016