Spain is the fourth best country to live and work according to expatriates, the workers whose companies move to another country for work reasons. That is the conclusion of the HSBC Expat Annual Classification published this Thursday by the British entity. This result is the best that the Iberian country has achieved since the beginning of these reports 12 years ago, and has supposed a huge jump compared to 2018, when Spain was ranked No. 13. Switzerland and Singapore have positioned themselves at the top of the list, while Bahrain and Sweden left the top 10.
The study focuses on those people over 18 who live and work outside their country of origin. On this occasion, the British company has had the answers of 18,059 individuals, who have been surveyed on-line of 27 questions, between February and March 2019. The report has been made by the YouGov research firm in 163 countries and finally a list has been launched comparing the top 33.
The indicators are divided into three groups: quality of life, professional aspirations and opportunities for children. The first includes the facility to adapt, political stability and physical and mental well-being. The second focuses on economic aspects such as salary and opportunities to grow professionally. And the third one gathers indicators such as the quality of the educational system and the ease of the children to make friends.
Spain stands out in quality of life and safety
According to this classification, there are three aspects for which Spain is one of the preferred destinations: safety, climate and quality of life. Regarding security, 61% of respondents he says he feels safer and protected in Spain than in their countries of origin. The climate, valued positively in the study, is considered a fundamental aspect when it comes to moving to the Iberian country for 39% of the interviewees, while 56% pointed to the quality of life as the main reason to make the transfer. The report also shows that eight out of ten (83%) of foreign residents consider that their general welfare has improved, which has led 62% to have decided to stay longer in Spanish territory.
The weak points of the Iberian country have focused on the professional and economic aspect. The interviewees consider that Spain is not the best place to progress professionally or acquire a good salary, and only a quarter consider it a good country to promote a professional career. The economic issue is especially sensitive if one takes into account that the average income of workers surveyed in Spain is 36,000 euros per year, almost half of the world average that exceeds 67,300.
Switzerland and Singapore lead the ranking
Switzerland has also taken a big leap this year to get the first place on the list after rising seven positions compared to 2018. 82% of respondents felt that their quality of life has improved considerably since they are there, and 70% highlighted the low levels of pollution, considering that their environment is much cleaner than in their country of origin. Taking into account the low levels of crime, 67% of expats also remarked that they felt safer there.
But the determining factor came from the economic sector. 71% of the respondents have highlighted the high levels of income of the country, leading to an average salary among expatriates of 98,900 euros, an average well above the global average. Economic and political stability have also been important factors with only 20% of respondents concerned about the economic situation in Switzerland – compared to 49% of global respondents – and 86% relaxed about political status.
Taken together, these factors allowed Switzerland to snatch the podium from Singapore, which in 2019 ranks second, a country especially valued by expatriates with children, since 62% of respondents consider that the educational system is better than that of his native country. Canada, on the other hand, climbs one step up to third place, with a remarkable low cost of living.
The top 10 Completed by New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Germany, Arab Emirates and Vietnam. Among them stand out the cases of Turkey and Vietnam, which showed large increases this 2019. The country whose capital is Ankara, went from position 22 to 7 in a year, with special emphasis on the good reception of the community and the facility for adaptation . In Vietnam, on the other hand, the respondents highlight their feeling of accomplishment and the high level of work and family conciliation, which allowed them to climb eight positions and get into the tenth position.
Germany, on the other hand, moved away from the point by falling five steps to number eight, with special criticism of the difficulty to adapt, at which point the German country occupies one of the last positions. Economic stability and the education system are its strong points, which lead the country to occupy the second and third place in these aspects, respectively.
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