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Hsbc Bank International Expat Survey 2008


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Hsbc Bank International Expat Survey 2008

  1. 1. HSBC Bank International Expat Explorer Survey 08 Report One: Expat Existence The Survey The Expat Explorer survey questioned 2,155 expatriates across four continents about the opportunities and challenges they face. The survey revealed some fascinating insights into how expat life differs from country to country. Expat Existence Expat Existence is the first report of three in the Expat Explorer Series and ranks the top rated places to live based on expats’ own personal experiences. Key Findings European woes “The UK is the least luxurious place to live as an expat” Seeking the good life abroad? Then pack your suitcase and head for Singapore, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) or the United States. These three countries emerged as best expat locations overall in the survey. The UK and France were amongst the lowest rated destinations, scoring poorly on their levels of luxury and standards of accommodation. Earning and spending more “Top countries for Despite the current economic climate, expats spend more whilst still being able to saving included India, save. Over half (58%) of expats save and invest more than they did in their country the UAE and Singapore” of origin. 52% also spend more on food, 49% more on shopping and 45% more on socialising in their new country of residence. Where six-figure salaries are the norm “49% of expats in Hong Kong earn more than £100k” Hong Kong and India based expats have the highest salaries in the world; with close to half earning more than £100,000 p.a. The highest paying professions were in finance and management with 43% of people working in these industries earning a six figure salary. Expat Existence Methodology Each country was rated according to living standards, whether expats can command a high salary and increase their saving, which countries are popular to settle in the medium-long term and whether they experience an increase in luxury. For example: Best Country Ranking Criteria What determines a good score for a country? 1. Longevity Attracts new expats and where expats settle down For Lifestyle 2. Earn and Save Where expats can earn over £100k and increase their savings 3. Luxurious The biggest increase in luxury across 11 categories 4. Accommodation An increase in the quality of accommodation
  2. 2. e The final ranking is based on the average score for a country across the criteria e Each of the criteria is weighted evenly e Sample size of 2,155 e Only countries with more than 30 responses were included in overall table (14 in total). Expat Existence Overall Results Country Longevity Earn & Save Luxurious Accommodation Score (avg) Singapore 10 14 14 15 13 UAE 9 13 15 12 12 USA 13 12 10 14 12 Belgium 12 7 11 13 11 Hong Kong 11 14 12 4 10 Germany 14 4 5 11 8 Netherlands 15 9 3 5 8 Canada 8 7 6 10 8 India 1 15 13 1 7 Australia 2 7 7 10 6 China 3 7 9 6 6 Spain 4 1 8 8 5 France 5 2 4 7 5 UK 6 8 1 3 4 Longevity – Popular Destinations Expats are spending longer away from home, with 45% of those surveyed having lived abroad for more than 5 years. Ireland and New Zealand have the greatest percentage of global travellers, with more than three quarters (80%) of respondents from both countries stating that they had been away from home for longer than three years. Time away from origin (%) – overall 30% 27% 25% 21% 20% 18% 9% 10% 0% 0 to 6 7 months 3 to 5 6 to 9 10 or more months to 2 years years years years
  3. 3. Europe is a popular destination overall in terms of the length of time expats stay there – more than three quarters (82%) of expats now living in the Netherlands have been there for three or more years, followed by Germany (77%) and Spain (76%). Away from origin for three or more years (%) top three countries 100% 82% 77% 76% 75% 50% 25% 0% Netherlands Germany Spain Expats working in finance are attracted to the USA. Expats tend to stay in the USA for the medium to long term. However, America is not necessarily viewed as a retirement destination by expats - only 6% of expats in the USA are over 55. Expat Professions in the USA (%) 60% 53% 40% 22% 19% 20% 6% 0% Financial Professional Other Not paid Earn and Save Expat salaries are generally good, with at least 31% of expats earning more than £100,000 per annum and more than half earning over £60,000 annually. Expat salary (%, £s equivalent) – overall 11% 100% 2% 4% 5% 20% 25% 33% Under £60k to £100k to £200k to £250k to £500k Won’t Base £60k £99k £199k £249k £499k plus say
  4. 4. Hong Kong-based expats have the highest salaries in the world, with almost half (49%) earning more than £100,000 p.a. Salary above £100k (%) Top 3 resident countries 60% 49% 42% 41% 40% 20% 0% Hong Kong India Singapore However, Brazilian, Irish and Australian expats are the wealthiest in the world. Salary above £100k (%) Top 3 origin countries 60% 48% 45% 39% 40% 20% 0% Brazil Ireland Australia Expats are not only earning more but saving more as well, particularly in countries such as Singapore, the UAE and India. In India, for example, low living costs enable 82% of expats to save more than they were able to in their country of origin. Overall, 58% of expats invest and save more, and more than half (52%) of expats also spend more on food, 49% more on shopping and 45% more on socialising in their new country of residence. Luxurious Lifestyle Expat Existence investigates whether expats’ lifestyles are more luxurious than the lives they have left behind. Countries were rated on a number of categories, for example, access to private healthcare, owning more than one property, ability to employ staff (such as cleaners). Across the 11 categories of perceived luxuries, on average expats reported an increase in eight of these factors, with employing staff ranked as the highest increase. Net change in luxury (%) – overall 30% 19% 20% Decrease Increase 16% in luxury in luxury 13% 11% 11% 9% 9% 10% 4% -8% -2% 0% 0% -10% Sports Own > Own a Club Own a Gym Access to > Private Private Regular Employ team 1 car boat member pool member 1 property child educ healthcare holidays staff member The UAE was the most luxurious destination, with expats experiencing increases in 10 of the 11 categories, followed by Spain with increases in nine of the 11 categories. Singapore, however, rated higher than Spain overall with a greater percentage change registered over the luxurious category. The UK was ranked the least luxurious with decreases recorded in nine of the 11 luxuries. Across all categories, males reported equal or higher experiences of luxuries than females.
  5. 5. Standard of Accommodation Almost three quarters (74%) of expats living in Singapore said that the quality of their accommodation had improved since moving away from their country of origin, the highest amount recorded in the study. This was followed by expats living in the United States (61%) and Belgium (59%). Quality of Accommodation (%) – Top 3 countries 100% 74% 75% 61% 59% 50% 25% 0% Singapore US Belgium The UK was identified as the most expensive expat location for accommodation, with over three quarters (85%) of expats living in the UK revealing that their living costs had increased. Only one-fifth (19%) of respondents living in the UK also stated that the quality of their accommodation had increased. India was the cheapest country, with only one-fifth (21%) of expats living in the country claiming that their costs of accommodation had increased. The Netherlands (68%) and Singapore (64%) were also identified as expensive locations. Further information Please visit for further information. Media enquiries to: Tim Mullen Hill & Knowlton + 44 (0) 207 413 3465 Anouchka Burton Hill & Knowlton + 44 (0) 207 413 3181 Issued by HSBC Bank International Limited. ©HSBC International Limited 2008. All Rights Reserved. AC11282