Singapore Remains the Favourite Place to live for Expats

ASEAN, trends, data

Magazine Expat Insider released its annual survey of the world’s favourite countries to live as an expat. In Southeast Asia, Singapore ranks first- as usual!

Expat Insider publication carries every year one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive surveys on life abroad. For its fifth anniversary, the country achieved a major milestone for its fifth anniversary: the number of respondents reached a new record high. In total, 18,135 expats from across the globe took part in the survey. They represent 178 nationalities and are living in 187 countries or territories, from over 1,600 participants in Germany to one each in Greenland and Equatorial Guinea, providing a unique insight into life abroad in 2018.

Although Expat Insider is keen to recognize that the total number of surveyed people is a very tiny fraction of the huge expatriate community which is estimated at over 66 million around the world (data from market research agency Finaccord). The expat community is due to reach 87 million individuals in a few years ahead according to research.

The 18,135 expatriates were asked to rate the country where they were residing on 48 factors from quality of life to financial facilities. All were factored into the calculation of the rankings.

If concentrating only on Southeast Asia, Singapore continues to be top among ASEAN members and ranking 5 in the world. No other Southeast Asian country managed to be in the top 10.

Surprisingly, the best place to live as an expat in Southeast Asia after Singapore is Vietnam, which ranks 14, followed by Malaysia (17) and Thailand (18). The Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar were ranked respectively 28, 50 and 53. However, as only 68 countries appeared among the choices of responding expats, the positioning of Indonesia and Myanmar can rather be considered as bad. Cambodia dropped out of the survey due to the total absence of answers from respondents. The positions remained unchanged from last year. A similar fate occurred for Laos and Brunei.

Among the various indexes, Singapore ranked 4 for the Quality of Life, followed by Thailand (ranking 30) and Malaysia (ranking 31). For Leisure Options, Thailand ranked best at 11 followed by Malaysia at rank 25 and the Philippines at rank 29. For Personal Happiness, Vietnam was the highest in ASEAN at rank 6, followed by Thailand (rank 9) and the Philippines (rank 11).