The Best Places to Be an Expat

Drinkers enjoy a pint at a British style pub in Boat Quay, Singapore.
Drinkers enjoy a pint at a British style pub in Boat Quay, Singapore.Andrew Watson / Getty Images

At some point or another, you’ve probably dreamt of picking up your life and setting up shop somewhere overseas, perhaps in an enchanting European city rich in history or an Australian beachside metropolis where thongs (that’s Australian for flip flops, not the undies) are part of your daily attire. According to a recent study by HSBC, the best place to be an expat is Switzerland.

HSBC recently released the results of its annual Expat Explorer survey. As part of the survey, HSBC ranks the best places based on experience, economics, and raising children abroad, with subcategories for each group.

The top 10 countries to live in around the world:

Expats reported that Switzerland offers a well-balanced life, including the opportunity to build a good career while allowing for an enjoyable life outside work, the ability to take advantage of sports activities, and to raise their family abroad.

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Singapore offers “safety, economic stability, higher salary, career advancement,” one expat says. The country offers an improved quality of life, greater economic opportunities, incredible food, and a great environment to raise children.

China’s bustling economy is a big plus for expats, making it the top location in Asia for high earners. Many add that life in China is increasingly becoming a better place to live and work.

Coming in at the third best place to raise children abroad, Germany is a great place for families. The country is also considered very safe, and many expats says they enjoy Germany’s strong and stable economy.

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According to the study, Bahrain offers the best all-around lifestyle experience in the Middle East, whereas other countries may be governed by an “all work, no play” motto. One expat says that in Bahrain, “the welcoming and caring local people… make you feel you are at home.”

New Zealand
New Zealand ranks the best place for raising children abroad, making it an appealing option for families looking to relocate. It is also popular among retirees.

If you consider yourself a foodie, then Thailand is the place for you, as expats agree that they love the local food. It is also ranked highly for its weather and overall lifestyle.

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Taiwan has one of the best healthcare systems in the world based on quality and affordability. Like Thailand, it is also a great destination for food lovers.

Many expats find themselves in India for business purposes, and like China, expats say it becoming a better place to live and work. India ranks fifth for social life, and it also ranks highly as a place to raise children and for its cheaper living costs. “India is fun, exciting and varied — and that can sometimes mean challenging too,” one expat says.

Hong Kong
For those in the finance industry, Hong Kong proves a popular destination, as do its high salaries and career opportunities. The United States came in at number 30, and the United Kingdom just made the cut, coming in at number 34.

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