Increased income, better education and extensive employment opportunities. This is the assessment that expatriates make of Singapore, chosen for the fourth consecutive year by this group as the best country to live, according to the XI survey of HSBC Expat Explorer. Their average salary in the city-state exceeds 140,000 euros and is usually 30% higher than what they received in their place of origin.
Spain, however, is ranked 14th in the list of 31 countries analyzed, a fall of three positions compared to 2017. Its performance is also very uneven depending on the category considered: it is almost at the end of the classification , in 27th place, in terms of economic conditions, but it jumps to the second place if only the quality of life is taken into account, according to the opinion of the more than 22,000 interviewed for the study.
The expatriates surveyed by the British entity are professionals foreign from 163 countries that, regardless of their activity, are displaced from their country to work. To catalog their opinions, HSBC has analyzed 27 variables grouped into three broad categories: economy, experience and family.
The first one refers to indicators such as salaries or the possibility of undertaking. In this category Switzerland is the best stop, ahead of Germany and Singapore. Here the average salary of expatriates exceeds $ 200,000 per year, twice the global average. Despite the high cost of living, only 9% of this group is concerned about their finances, and 89% have been residing in the Swiss country for five or more years.
The second indicator emphasizes the quality of life and variables such as health services or the friendliness of people. And it is here where Spain obtains the second place, preceded by New Zealand and followed by Taiwan. Eight out of 10 expatriates say that the quality of life here exceeds that of their country of origin and, among those who have children, six out of 10 say that Spain provides better health and well-being.
Regarding the last category, focused on the education of children and their integration in the host country, Spain occupies the fourth position, only behind Sweden, New Zealand and France. If more than half of the expatriates with children living in Spain say that the move to the country has united them more, it is very difficult to compete with Swedish legislation, the only Scandinavian country that appears on the list: 480 days of permission for the birth of a child and up to 120 to take care of them when they get sick, the survey details.
The climate and quality of life in Spain seduce foreigners
The quality of life and the climate are the two variables most indicated by the expatriates who have moved to Spain. Most of them come from the United Kingdom, and many are already retired. Of the total of expatriates, less than a fifth have a full-time job and only 14% have children. If the variables are broken down one by one, Spain nevertheless harvests very poor results in terms of economic conditions, especially in terms of income and savings possibilities: in both cases it is in the last position of the list. He also limps in terms of entrepreneurship, job promotion opportunities and job security. In these cases it occupies the penultimate rung. The expatriates who work here earn less than the collective average and only 13% of them perceive Spain as a destination with better wages than their country of origin.
The other side of the coin confirms it: Spaniards who emigrate they are usually qualified professionals who seek to advance their careers and who prioritize job security and economic stability. More than 70% of them maintain that their host country offers better career prospects than Spain and that their salaries are higher.
Japan and the Philippines, the countries that go down the list
In the general classification, New Zealand and Germany confirm one more year in second and third position, respectively, the first awarded for its high quality of life and the second for its work culture based on conciliation. Brazil also repeats, but at the other extreme, as the country least valued by expatriates among those analyzed by HSBC. The political situation or the confidence in the economic system are some of the indicators where it obtains the worst results. Japan and the Philippines, on the other hand, are the countries that fall more in the classification compared to the previous edition of the study.
Japan, which is just above Brazil in the 30th place, dropped eight positions compared to last year. The possibility of entrepreneurship or integration are some of the variables that most punish the country. The Philippines also suffers a significant decline, from 17 to 28, while Ireland climbs 10 steps, to the number 18, driven by the good quality of family life and education. The United States improves its position on the list, from the 23rd to the 20th, as does the United Kingdom, a destination for young and qualified expatriates, which climbs five steps to the 22nd place.