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Thailand, Singapore score high for expatriate lifestyle

An expatriate living in Bangkok enjoys a day of shopping in the capital’s city centre
An expatriate living in Bangkok enjoys a day of shopping in the capital’s city centre. AFP

Thailand, Singapore score high for expatriate lifestyle

Expatriates gave some of the highest marks for quality of life, ease of setting up and integration into society to Thailand, according to the world’s largest global survey of foreigners living abroad released yesterday.

Thailand ranked first out of 37 countries in the “Experience” category, which is part of the sixth series of the Expat Explorer survey commissioned by HSBC Expat and conducted by independent research firm YouGov.

The survey finds that 76 per cent of all expats in Thailand note the ease with which they made friends, compared with the global average of 52 per cent.

Of the expats moving to Thailand, 59 per cent are more likely than those in any other countries to see an improvement in their social life. More than seven in 10 expats said they found integrating into the local community easy.

Thailand also placed first for “Expenses.” Expats in Thailand enjoy a relatively high income and face lower spending on everyday essentials, personal tax rates and accommodation, the results show. Indonesia ranked second and Vietnam fifth.

“This year, the results show Asia to be the leading destination for expat quality of life, with the region also emerging as an expat social hotspot,” Dean Blackburn, head of HSBC Expat, said in a statement.

Besides Thailand, four other countries among the top 10 destinations in the 2013 Expat Explorer “Experience” section are in Asia. China ranks third, Singapore sixth and India seventh, followed by Taiwan in eighth place.

Between April 29 and June 11, 7,004 expats in nearly 100 countries took part in the online survey. A sample size of 30 or more respondents from each country was required to be included in each league table. Cambodia didn’t qualify for this year’s survey due to a lack of responses.

In the “Economics” section, which measures countries by earning potential, disposable income and economic outlook, Switzerland scored first, followed by China and Qatar.

As for raising children abroad, European countries scored highest among expats, with Germany in the top slot, France ranking third, Belgium sixth and Spain landing on ninth.

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