Expat Survey: With Money Comes Quality
ImageInternations has conducted the Expat Insider Survey 2014, completed by close to 14,000 expatriates, which makes it the biggest expat survey ever conducted! It aims to provide a comprehensive picture of life abroad: Focusing on the general quality of life, it identifies the most popular expat destinations. Topics covered include work, family, relationships and romance, leisure, and personal finances.

Did you know, for example, that Singapore has one of the best results for personal safety worldwide? Or that it is among the global top 10 in terms of quality of life?


Despite high living expenses, expatriates based in Singapore are happy with their well-being, health, safety, family life, work, and more

There is a lot to like about living in Singapore, according to our resident expatriates and evidenced by the country’s sixth place in our overall ranking. Singapore also ranks sixth in our Quality of Life Index, with, for example, more than three in four (76%) describing the quality of medical care as good or even very good. This is considerably higher than the global average (53%).

Furthermore, two-thirds of our survey participants in Singapore (64%) deem the political stability very good and the country very peaceful. This might explain why nearly nine in ten (87%) also feel extremely safe in Singapore; a feeling just 46% of global respondents share.

Of the 61 countries in the survey, Singapore furthermore ranks highly in both our subindices on Travel and Transport (4th) as well as Health and Safety (4th).

Everything Comes at a Price

Respondents indicate, however, that the downside to life in Singapore is the high living expenses. Just under one-sixth (15%) think positively of housing prices in Singapore, which is far less than the global average of 50%. Likewise, only 8% of Singapore-based respondents describe the general costs of living as good or very good.

This puts Singapore below average in the Personal Finance Index at 36th place. It should be noted, however, that 44% of resident expats feel their disposable income is enough or even more than enough to cover their expenses. This compares quite well to the global average of 45%. An explanation for this might be the fact that 40% of resident expats have a household income of more than USD 100,000 per year.


Children Completely Safe

As with general living expenses, expats seem to find childcare and education expensive in Singapore. Only half as many participants in Singapore (14%) find childcare easily affordable compared to the global average (29%). Roughly the same goes for education (11% to 29%).

The money seems to be well spent, however, as Singapore ranks 2nd out of 34 in the Quality of Education subcategory of our Family Life Index, below only Switzerland.

When it comes to the health and safety of children, one in ten of all our participants worldwide (11%) worries at least somewhat. In Singapore, no respondents express any such concerns. The same holds true for their children’s general well-being, and these factors likely explain why Singapore ranks highly in our Family Life Index (6th out of 34).

A Healthy Economy

In terms of work, Singapore makes it into our top ten countries. In large parts, this appears to be because of the state of the Singaporean economy. Only 2% of resident expats consider it in any way bad. Of our global respondents, 17% think negatively of the economy in their respective countries of residence.

Settling In Not an Issue

Singapore ranks well in the top half when it comes to settling in (23rd). Its comparatively low ranking of 52nd in the Friendliness subcategory of our Ease of Settling In Index plays a large role in this. This may have something to do with the low number of expats (14%) who rate the Singaporean friendliness towards foreign residents as very good. The global average is higher at 25%.


Nevertheless, our respondents seem to have little trouble getting used to life in Singapore. One in three (33%) completely agrees that settling down in Singapore is easy, which is almost double the global average (17%).

With four official languages, including English and Mandarin, it is no surprise that only 41% of expats in Singapore feel the need to improve their local language skills, compared to a global average of 71%.



Thanks InterNations.org, for allowing us to republish this story. The full report can be found here: http://www.internations.org/expat-insider/2014/