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Singapore is No 1 choice for expats for third year: Poll

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Singapore is the top destination for expatriates for the third year running, but they earn the most in Switzerland.

The battle for the top spot was tight, with Singapore narrowly beating Norway. New Zealand is third, followed by Germany and then the Netherlands, according to an annual league table produced by British bank HSBC.

It polled 27,587 expats across the world to compile a ranking of 46 economies.

Almost 75 per cent of those polled here said the country offers better earnings potential than their home country. They cited a 42 per cent rise in their annual income since moving here to an average of almost US$118,000 (S$160,000).

But life here is not cheap, especially for the 40 per cent of those polled who have families. Almost 90 per cent of this group think childcare here is more expensive than at home, though 26 per cent of expats here feel Singapore offers an excellent education system, compared with only 10 per cent of expats across the survey.

Globally, expats have an average annual gross personal income of just under US$100,000 - 25 per cent more than they had at home.

The place that takes the cake in pay is Switzerland, where expats earn an average of more than US$193,000 a year - 54 per cent more than what they could draw at home.

The top five economies by expat income are Switzerland, India, China, the United States and Hong Kong.


The report also found that investing in property is particularly popular among expats in Singapore, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates and Britain, home to some of the most expensive property markets in the world.

Separate research by Savills for HSBC showed that prime residential property costs about US$3,800 per sq ft in Hong Kong, US$1,700 psf in London, US$990 psf in Singapore and US$590 in Dubai.