Tuesday 6th December 2011

Expat research by HSBC

The results of the Expat Explorer 2011 research are in and yet again the survey is packed full of interesting information and facts about the life and living standards of expatriates throughout the world. Over 3,380 expatriates in over 31 countries participated in this year’s survey, making it the largest expatriate research project of its kind. All participants were asked to share their experiences of living overseas and were questioned on every aspect of life abroad, with detailed questions about the financial, economic, political, and social situation in their host country. This year saw the introduction of six new countries into the survey results: Egypt, Italy, Vietnam, Brazil, Turkey and Japan.

Expat Finances Remain Resilient

This year’s findings reveal that expatriate financial health has remained strong over the past year, even in countries where there have been political or economic instabilities. Interestingly, expatriates who live in Bahrain, Egypt and Japan claim that they are financially better off in their host countries than they would be at home. “52% of expats in Bahrain have much higher disposable incomes than they did in their home country, as well as 58% of expats in Egypt and 38% of expats in Japan, compared with the average of 35%. Furthermore, 60% of expats in Egypt are saving more, 50% are investing more and 17% are paying off more debt. This trend is similar to that in Bahrain (83%, 42% and 31% respectively) and Japan (60%, 37% and 20% respectively),” the report revealed.

Expatriates living in South East Asia are also enjoying increased finances: “Expats in developing countries such as South Africa, Thailand and the Philippines are much more likely to have more luxuries since relocating from their home country,” said an HSBC report on the survey. “The main luxuries that expats in these countries benefit from compared to their home country are: domestic staff, swimming pools, owning their property or owning more than one property.”

The Best Places to Get Rich

The expat economics section of the 2011 survey considered a number of factors pertaining to expatriate finances and quality of life. Including level of earning, spending power, ability to save, investment opportunities and the exposure to global economic issues. The top five countries that offered the best expat economic potential were revealed as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Singapore, Russia and Switzerland, with Italy, New Zealand, Netherlands, France and Germany being named as the worst.

Raising Children Overseas

According to the HSBC research, of those cities ranking according to childcare costs, the United Kingdom is the most expensive country in the world in which to raise children, with average childcare costs equating to approximately $12,790 USD per year. The best countries within which to raise children were named as France, the Netherlands and Australia. Discussing the results in a press release, Lisa Wood, head of marketing at HSBC Expat said: “Expats with children will obviously be putting their children's needs at the forefront of their relocation decision.

“For many expat parents, the knowledge that their children will be able to easily integrate into their new community will outweigh any potential increase in earnings and saving potential when moving.”

Unfortunately this year’s results were unable to rank Southeast Asian countries according to the survey for raising children overseas due to the fact that insufficient data was available.


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