Singapore has the richest, safest, and best quality of life for expats

An expat paradise.
An expat paradise.
Image: Reuters/Edgar Su
We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Singapore is the best place to live in the world as an expat, according to HSBC’s 10th annual “Expat Explorer: Broadening Perspectives” survey.

HSBC commissioned Britain’s YouGov polling agency to survey nearly 28,000 expats (people aged 18 or over and living away from their home country) between March and April this year, living in 159 countries and territories. Of those, 46 countries and territories made into the ranking—inclusion required a minimum sample of 100 expat respondents, including at least 30 expat parents.

The survey asked 27 questions on topics ranging from personal finance, work-life balance, and overall cost of raising children, which made up three league tables: Economics, Experience, and Family.

In the master league table combined from the three, Singapore came out on top, while Norway was a close second, says HSBC.

The report says a key reason expats love Singapore is the bumper salaries; 73% say they can earn more there than at home, 42% say their annual income has increased since moving there, and 65% said they have more disposable income than at home. The average wage is around $118,000 a year.

Safety is also a revered element for expats in Singapore, with 82% saying they feel safer there than at home. One of the biggest downsides was the cost of childcare, which 85% said was more expensive than at home. But it looks like the trade-off is worth it for them.