Want a better quality of life? Move to the Far East

18th September 2015


If you’re looking for a better quality of life away from Britain then head to Singapore, which has risen to the top of the list of expat-friendly places.


The poll, conducted by NatWest International, shows Singapore has risen to the top of best places for expats to live for the first time since the survey was started eight years ago.


It has moved from fourth place last year to first this year, and was eleventh in 2009 but the latest survey shows 84% of British expats in Singapore have seen an increase in their overall quality of life since moving to the island.


Similar numbers also said their health and job conditions had improved and they also lived in a nicer and sunnier environment.


Other Far East countries that are improving for expats are China (third place) and Hong Kong (fifth place).


However, traditional expat locations like Australia and Canada have fallen in popularity, which NatWest said is due to the number of ‘temporary expats’ living around the world.


In 2008, when the survey was first introduced, 67% of the expats surveyed were ‘lifers’ who had moved for good in search of sun and a fresh start. However, this year these expats make up just 28% of those surveyed and 40% are temporary expats.


Only 9% of those in Singapore planned to stay permanently as most were on temporary work assignments.


Dave Isley, head of NatWest International personal banking, said: ‘Singapore is clearly a vibrant nation filled with lots of opportunities for career-focused expats.


‘With improved health, beautiful surroundings and bang for your buck, who can blame ambitious Brits for choosing this sunny city state, which stands as a great example that you don’t have to choose between business and pleasure.


‘While destinations such as Australia and Canada are still rated highly by retiree expats, more and more people are making the move abroad with their career in mind, leading to the popularity of countries such as Singapore.’


Top 10 countries with the best quality of life for expats:


1. Singapore

2. UAE

3. China

4. New Zealand

5. Hong Kong

6. Canada

7. Australia

8. South Africa

9. USA

10. Portugal

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