New Research Reveals That Asia has the Wealthiest Expats

The latest expat research from HSBC indicates that the wealthiest expats in the world are located in Singapore.

According to the fifth Expat Explorer, which was released by HSBC last week, over half of the people surveyed in Singapore (54 percent) claimed to earn more than $200,000 USD per year. This compares with an international average of just seven percent. Within the survey HSBC ranked countries according to factors such as the average salary, levels of disposable income and ability to afford luxuries and positioned Singapore at the top of the table, followed by Bermuda, Thailand, Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands.

Asian countries performed particularly well in this year’s survey, with many of the expats that live in this area of the world claiming that their disposable income had increased since they had located. Again, Singapore was home to the highest number of expats who had benefitted from increases in disposable income (80 percent), followed by Hong Kong (79 percent) and Malaysia (72 percent).

In the Executive Summary, Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, commented: “Asia is increasingly coming to the fore
as a top destination for both financial opportunity and life experiences. While
the region has historically been a popular choice for those looking for increased quality of life, the dominance of Asian countries at the top of this year’s Expat Explorer Economics league table highlights that it is fast becoming an all-round top expat destination – especially Singapore.”

The survey, which included over 5000 expats throughout the world, indicated that Asian countries offer more opportunities to expats than the previously dominant Middle Eastern expat destinations. In last year’s survey Saudi Arabia had topped the list of the countries that were home to the wealthiest expats, while the top ten list also included Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain. However, this year only Bahrain made it into the top ten list and Saudi Arabia fell a dramatic 17 places.

Paul Richardson, senior regional manager for HSBC Expat Asia, said in a report in The Telegraph: “We’re still seeing a lot of economic growth in the Middle East, but Asia does seem to be stronger. Businesses are looking further East for opportunities, especially [to] Singapore and Hong Kong, which remain the region’s most dynamic economic hubs.”

An opposite state of affairs was in evidence in Europe. Expats living in this part of the world are much less financially stable with many of the countries in this part of the world remaining unstable. However, despite this, many expats in Europe remain resilient and are “choosing to weather the storm.” For example, a massive 92 percent of the expats living in Spain revealed that they were dissatisfied with the state of their host country’s economy. However, despite this, not one of those surveyed revealed that they have any active plans to leave their current home.

“Wider concerns, such as the current state of the economy, appear to have had little effect on their desire to continue living and working there,” Blackburn said.

“While [they] are feeling the impact of the economic turbulence that has taken hold across much of the Eurozone, this year’s findings show they have strong ties to their current country of residence.”


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