Moving abroad pays.
Expats who move to another country for work make an average of $21,000 extra in annual salary, according to the 2018 Expat Explorer survey by HSBC, which polled 22,318 expats across the world. The largest gain comes from moving to Switzerland, where expats get $61,000 more than they would doing the same job back home.
Fifty-eight percent of the respondents said the same job simply pays more in the new location. But half also say they pay less tax. That might explain why expats love places like Hong Kong and Singapore, where personal income taxes are 15% or less. Singapore was considered the best place to live and work for a fourth consecutive year.
Moving abroad tends to benefit women, too, according to the HSBC survey. The average female expat’s income increases by around 27%, compared by 23% for men. Women start from a much lower base; the average expat woman’s salary globally is $83,000. That average is much higher in some countries: $143,000 in the US, $173,000 in Switzerland, and a rich $193,000 in China.
To get those higher salaries, one must be able to move away from home. Just 27% of women surveyed moved overseas to progress their own career, compared with 47% of the men.