Friday, October 19, 2018

Singapore ranked first among places for expats to live and work in: HSBC survey

[So we are in the bottom 10 in the Commitment to Reduce Inequality (CRI) Index administered by Oxfam, but we are #1 in the World Bank's Human Capital Index, though we are #2 in the World Economic Forum's Most Competitive country (US is #1). And here we are #1 in HSBC's ranking of best places for expats to live and work.

The point, in case you are assuming the usual, is not that SG is the GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD. 

I mean, if that is your takeaway from all these accolades, let me ask you: what did you personally do to develop our human capital, make SG a competitive country, and make SG the best country for expats to live and work? Let me ask you, do you even LIKE expats in SG? Or are you subtly racist like most Singaporeans, and would rather NOT have expats in SG?

The point is not that we should be proud, or disgusted, or dismayed, or disheartened, or arrogant, or any other emotional reaction you can think of.

That we live in a Singapore that is #1 and #2 or #150 is what OTHER people think of us. If what they think of us makes you happy, or sad, or angry, or glad, you are not very stable, are you?

Put it another way, with the latest news (whichever news), how has your life changed for the better or for the worse?

Did your wife/girlfriend leave you to look for a new Expat boyfriend because of this report? I hope not. But if she did, do you really want such a superficial person as your life partner?]

11 Oct 2018


SINGAPORE: For the fourth year in a row, Singapore has been ranked first among the best places for expats to live and work in, according to an HSBC survey.

A total of 22,318 expats took part in the HSBC Expat Explorer survey conducted by YouGov in March and April.

According to the survey, Singapore was ranked first out of 31 places.

While expats in Singapore are paid less on average than those working in Hong Kong, the Southeast Asian country did better in the ratings of its family benefits and overall quality of life.

Singapore ranked first among places for expats to live: HSBC survey (Graphic: HSBC Expat Explorer Survey)


Salaries for expats in Singapore are more than 30 per cent above the global average, according to the survey. Many said they moved to Singapore to advance their careers (45 per cent) and improve their earnings (38 per cent).

Their average annual income is US$160,000 (S$221,522), a 29 per cent improvement from their earnings back home, the survey added.

This puts Singapore in third place for the annual income of expats in the Asia-Pacific, losing out to Hong Kong, where expats earn an average of US$180,000 and China, where they earn an average of US$170,000 each year.

Switzerland paid expats the most - US$203,000 per year or twice the global level.

HSBC Expat Explorer Survey. (Graphic: HSBC)

[So Singapore is #1, and there is nothing to talk about then. So looking at other rankings, here are some that I find... interesting. At #13, Indonesia is a better place to be than Malaysia at #15. That is interesting. Personally, I would be more comfortable in Malaysia than Indonesia. Shows you what I know. And Malaysia is better than Hong Kong (#17)! Maybe because the HKers keep calling the ang mo "Guai-lo". And Vietnam (#19), Russia (#20), and Thailand (#21) are better for expats than the US (#23)? I would NOT have guessed. And Japan is #30. Hmmm... ]

Singapore is also a good place for expats with families, with nearly three-quarters of them saying that their children's overall quality of life is better here.

"The quality of childcare and education are considered better than at home for many expats and 60 per cent say their children's health and wellbeing has improved," the survey said.

Four out of five expats in Singapore also have confidence in the political and economic stability of the country, the survey said, and 78 per cent said they would recommend the city-state to anyone thinking of moving abroad.

"More than a quarter of Singapore expats may have originally been sent by their employer (27 per cent), but almost half (47 per cent) have stayed in this safe, well-organised city and its lush, vibrant surroundings for the great quality of life it offers them and their family," the survey said.


However, living in Singapore can be stressful for some expats, with 46 per cent saying that the levels of stress at work in Singapore are higher than what they had experienced back home.

"Three quarters are employed full-time and more than half say their work/life balance is the same or worse than it was at home," the survey said.

The high cost of living in Singapore can be a problem for some expats too, with only 26 per cent of expats owning a property in the country.

Two in four expats said that they could not afford to buy a home in Singapore, according to the survey, and most choose to buy in their home country instead.

A total of 524 interviews were conducted on expats in Singapore while 169 were conducted for expats from Singapore.

Meanwhile, Singaporeans who venture abroad acknowledge a better work/life balance, with half of them saying that they have found personal fulfilment at work overseas.

"Having left a well-organised, structured and carefully managed culture to plunge into the great global unknown, far more Singaporeans abroad (51 per cent) feel the experience has made them more adaptable than the global average (39 per cent)," the survey said.

Source: CNA/na(hm)

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