Canada the best place for expats!
HSBC has released its second report in the Expat Explorer research. Now in its second year, Expat Explorer is the largest survey of its kind, surveying over 3,100 expats from more than 50 countries. Expat Experience showed that expats in Canada have the best quality of life and found it among the easiest places in the world to integrate with the local population. Australia and Thailand also ranked in the top three countries, when life as an expat was compared with life in their home country.
Expats enjoy the good life
The survey revealed that expats enjoy an overall better quality of life once they move away from their country of origin. Over half of expats (58%) questioned in 2009 have lived abroad for more than five years, compared with 45% of expats living abroad for the same time in 2008. The top three countries for settling down are South Africa, Thailand and Canada, where 55%, 53% and 52% of expats respectively have lived for more than five years.
A social bunch
One in two (49%) expats have a positive experience making friends in a new country. Canada has yet again emerged as the best place for expats to integrate into local society. One in five expats have found love overseas, with almost half (47%) of expats in Thailand claiming that they had found love. Single expats in India or Qatar would be better off buying a teddy bear – just 4% of expats have found love while living in these countries.
A rewarding but challenging life
Surprisingly only a quarter of expats overall (28%) said that they found it difficult to sort out accommodation in their new country of residence. Learning the local language remains the largest expat challenge of all, with less than one in three (28%) expats overall having made the effort to learn one of the local languages.
UK continues to perform poorly
As it did in 2008, the research revealed that the UK was one of the worst locations when it comes to expat lifestyle. Two-fifths (41%) of expats in the UK find it difficult to find somewhere to live, compared to a 28% average across all regions surveyed. Less than one-fifth (16%) of expats in the UK found that the quality of their accommodation had increased since moving, compared to the majority (58%) noticing a decrease in quality. Despite this, the UK does hold the crown for being expat entertainment capital of the world, with over half (58%) of expats in the UK saying that the quality of entertainment had increased.