Switzerland tops HSBC poll for living abroad


Written by: Emma Lunn


Switzerland has been named the best destination for living and working overseas, with 71 per cent of expats having more disposable income.

A better quality of life, competitive salaries and attractive scenery helped the European country take the top spot in HSBC Expat’s 12th annual league table of the best places to live and work.

Singapore was rated the second best place to live after holding the number one spot in the poll for the past four years. Canada was third, followed by Spain, and then New Zealand.

More than 18,000 adults living overseas took part in the HSBC Expat survey. They explained why they had moved and what they enjoyed most about life abroad and their new home.

Of those living in Switzerland, 82 per cent said their quality of life had improved since moving there, while 70 per cent said the surroundings are cleaner and more pleasant.

Financial factors also contribute to the country’s popularity, in part thanks to its thriving financial services sector. Seven in 10 (71 per cent) of those who have moved to Switzerland now have higher levels of disposable income. Most people who have relocated there also say they appreciate its economic and political stability.

John Goddard, head of HSBC Expat, said: “Our research has found that Switzerland is a fantastic choice for both career-driven professionals looking to grow their earnings, as well as those seeking an improved quality of life. It is considered to have some of the most beautiful and safe surroundings in the world as well as plenty of career opportunities.”

Although leaving home can be challenging, the survey also found that there is much to be gained from moving abroad. A chance to experience a different lifestyle, learn about other cultures and acquire new skills are some of the potential benefits.

It may also offer a career boost – especially for younger professionals. Those who relocated before the age of 35 received average wage increases of 35 per cent, the highest of any age group surveyed.


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