How countries & territories compare


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All Findings

What's on your expat wish list?

The headlines may be all about the financial benefits, but the way expats feel about their everyday life is what truly makes or breaks the overseas experience.

Nowhere is that clearer than in New Zealand. Topping our experience rankings yet again this year, its lasting popularity among individuals and families ensures its heavyweight status for expats coming from all over the world.

Seven in every ten of those living here are first time expats and they stick around. It attracts more older travellers than the global average, (aged 35+) and they stay for longer. Two thirds have put down strong roots by buying property here.

In fact, more than four in five would recommend it as a territory to move to thanks to factors including the positive work/life balance and improvements in their physical health, as well as new friendships and ease of integration with local people.

While a third (34%) of all expats around the world moved abroad to improve their quality of life, in New Zealand the figure soars to 60%. More than half (55%) have since stayed because it delivered on its reputation.


of expats moved to New Zealand to improve their quality of life.

The Spanish way of life also helped to secure 2nd place for experience again this year. It may not rank as highly for factors such as job security or spending money, but it's hard to beat the Spanish approach to the work/life balance.

A remarkable eight in ten expats in Spain said the quality of life is better than at home and more than six in ten of those with children say their health and wellbeing is better too.

Singapore and Canada – established high fliers in our annual league tables - have both dropped three places this year to 6th and 8th in the world for experience as other territories catch up with their high standards of safety, wellbeing, quality of life, openness and other attractions. Despite this, Singapore remains the top destination overall.

Managing your money as an expat: some things to consider - and how we could help.

Things to consider

The 2018 Expat Explorer survey is a global survey completed by 22,318 expats across the world. The research was conducted online by YouGov in March and April 2018. League tables are calculated using responses to 27 of the questions asked in the research. A minimum sample of 100 expat respondents including at least 30 expat parents is required for a country to be included in the league tables.

About HSBC Expat

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Expat Explorer collects key findings from countries around the world.

Use the dropdown menus above to add or remove criteria and see which findings from 2018 are most relevant to you, or use our league table to see how countries compare.

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