Switzerland is ranked as the number one country by expats looking for a well-balanced, high quality lifestyle - followed by Singapore, China, Germany and Bahrain - according to the seventh Expat Explorer survey commissioned by HSBC Expat.
The Expat Explorer survey, conducted by YouGov, is one of the largest global surveys of expats.
This year, nearly 9,300 expats from around the world shared their views on quality of life, financial wellbeing and the ease of raising a family abroad.

Expat Explorer League Table 2014
1. Switzerland
2. Singapore
3. China
4. Germany
5. Bahrain
6. New Zealand
7. Thailand
8. Taiwan
9. India
10. Hong Kong

Switzerland comes top for a balanced life abroad

The survey reveals that expats living in Switzerland enjoy the best of expat life, with the country ranking first out of 34 countries.
From a financial wellbeing perspective, Switzerland emerges as a destination to advance career prospects and receive a healthy salary while also maintaining a good work / life balance. One quarter (25%) of expats in Switzerland earn more than USD200,000 p.a., yet over half (51%) report a better work / life balance since moving.
Expats in Switzerland also have a lot of confidence in the local economy, with almost half (47%) saying they are very satisfied with the state of the local economy – the highest proportion for any country included in this year’s survey.
Many expats in Switzerland comment on the country’s high quality of air and pleasant surroundings, with three quarters (75%) agreeing that this is an improvement on their home country.
Expat parents also report that Switzerland offers benefits for families too, believing their offspring are now safer (81%), enjoy a better quality of life (77%) and receive a better education (65%).

Asia: a hotspot for high earning expats

Asia emerges from this year’s survey as the best region for financial wellbeing, with nearly one fifth (19%) of expats earning over USD200,000 p.a. and 65% saying they have more disposable income since relocating.
China is home to the largest proportion of high-earning expats in the world – nearly two-fifths (38%) earn over USD200,000 p.a and over three quarters (76%) have more disposable income than they did at home.
Elsewhere in Asia, around a quarter of expats in India (24%) and Hong Kong (23%) earn over the USD200,000 p.a. mark, with 56% and 63% respectively saying they have greater disposable income than before.

The Middle East attracts career-minded expats
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of expats in the Middle East report that they are satisfied with their host country’s current economic outlook - the highest of all regions in this year’s survey.
Countries in the Middle East continue to attract career-minded expats seeking to boost their earning potential, with nearly six in ten (56%) expats who move to the Middle East doing so for better job prospects and over a third (35%) moving to increase their income levels.
But it’s not all hard work – the survey reveals that the majority of expats in Bahrain enjoy a better work / life balance (62%) and more enjoyable commute into work (68%), in comparison to their home countries.

New Zealand: the winner for expat experience and family life

Expats this year voted New Zealand as the best destination for expat life experience and raising a family abroad. The country ranks as the easiest place for expats to set up a new life, making it a popular option for expats young and old to enjoy a high quality lifestyle.
New Zealand is the destination where expats are most likely to move in order to improve their standard of living (54%), as well as benefiting from the pleasant climate and picturesque scenery (89%), friendly local people (75%) and a good work / life balance (71%).
Expat parents living in New Zealand also commented on the improved health and wellbeing (78%) and safety of their children (87%), as well as saying they are bringing up more confident and well-rounded individuals (58%) since moving.

Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, comments:

“There are a great many decisions involved in making the move abroad, ranging from consideration of finances and managing money, right through to integrating into the local community and arranging childcare.
“While Asia continues to excel as a region for those looking for higher salaries, the Middle East draws career minded expats and New Zealand offers a great opportunity for those looking for quality of life and a good place to raise a family.
“This year’s Expat Explorer league table shows that there are many countries that offer a good balance, providing expats with a rewarding and exciting experience. Expats can view the full results by visiting the Expat Explorer interactive tool, where they can discover more about where they live now as well as find inspiration for the future.”

Follow the latest Expat Explorer updates and join the debate online:

Tweet at: http://twitter.com/expatexplorer
Share your experiences: http://expatexplorer.blogspot.com/
Look for expat hints & tips: http://expatexplorer.hsbc.com/hintsandtips/
See how your country compares: http://expatexplorer.hsbc.com/
Read the report: http://expatexplorer.hsbc.com/files/...014/report.pdf

About the Expat Explorer survey and league table
The Expat Explorer survey was completed by 9,288 expats from over 100 countries through an online questionnaire, conducted by YouGov on behalf of HSBC Expat, in April and May 2014.
A minimum sample of 100 expat respondents including at least 30 expat parents is required for a country to be included in the Expat Explorer league table. This year, 34 countries qualified for the league table.
The Expat Explorer league table ranks each country using a score that summarises expats’ overall impression of the country. The Expat Explorer score is the average of the Expat Economics, Expat Experience and Raising Children Abroad scores, covering 43 different criteria from the survey.
Countries are scored on a scale of zero to one, with the highest score ranking first and the lowest ranking last. All scores have been rounded to two decimal points.

About HSBC

The HSBC Group
HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from over 6,200 offices in 74 countries and territories in, Asia, Europe, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,754bn at 30 June 2014, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

HSBC Expat
HSBC Expat is a trading name of HSBC Bank International Limited. HSBC Expat is an award winning provider of offshore financial services, with its head office based in Jersey, Channel Islands. It also has representation in Dubai and Hong Kong. As part of HSBC Holdings plc, HSBC Expat has the experience to offer customers living and working abroad, tailored offshore financial solutions. For more information visit: www.expat.hsbc.com.