Who wants to expatriate in Singapore and why ?

View from the Singapore Gardens of the bay

According to 2014 HSBC Expat Explorer study, Singapore turns out to be the second best city to live in as an expatriate, just below Switzerland. Nevertheless, does Singapore really match with your professional and personal profile? Here are some insights about the main socio-demographic characteristics and objectives of the Singaporean expatriates to make sure that the city can really suit you.

Singapore is for both young workers and senior expats with their family

Most of the Singaporean expatriates (55%) in 2014 are aged between 35 and 55 years old and emigrate with their immediate family in the city-state after being promoted by their employers at home. Students and young workers (18 – 35 years old) also account for almost 40% of the expatriates.

Expats are welcomed from all over the world

The breakdown of expats’ origins confirms that Singapore is a cosmopolitan state. Indeed, the diversity of origins is high, despite the neighbouring country Malaysia, India and the United Kingdom who represents 60% of the total origins. More specifically, Europeans are increasingly attracted by the economic dynamism of Singapore and its high quality of life.

Nearly one third of the expatriates is working in the financial services (banking and insurance sectors). Another quarter of the expats has a job either in the telecommunications or in engineering firms.

Singapore, the ideal destination to enhance expats’ careers prospects

Nearly two thirds of the Singaporean expatriates claim that the city-state is the place to be to advance their professional career. At least, they are fully convinced that they are developing more skills in Singapore than in their home country.

More than 65% of the Singaporean expats state that they have a higher level of income than earlier at home. Indeed, the expats’ average revenue in Singapore amounts to $159,000, which is far higher than the expats’ worldwide average ($104,000). The increase in wages is one of the main reasons why Singapore is so attractive nowadays.

Besides, this city is the best place worldwide to do business as the World Bank’s ranking shows, due to – amongst others – lower corporate taxes. In Singapore, the conditions are optimal to launch and develop your own business project.

Therefore, Singapore is considered by its expatriates as the ideal city to thrive in a steady economic environment. Around 80% of the expatriates work fulltime, compared with the global average of 58%. Almost all the expatriates are confident in the economic health of the country.

Singapore, an easy place to integrate the local community

In addition to the prosperous economy, the cosmopolitan atmosphere makes it easier for new expatriates to merge into the community. Most of the expats found it easy to adapt to the Singaporean culture. First, the majority of people living there are English speakers, which makes the communication in the daily life significantly easier. Then, as Singaporeans come from various parts of the world, they usually are tolerant and open-minded.

In terms of living conditions, expats mostly find the weather easy to get used to. Finally, in addition to the local integration, expats enjoy the localization of Singapore that allows them to easily travel across the region and to discover beautiful destinations.

Singapore, a qualitative and safe place to raise children …

Expatriates – especially families – are attracted by the high level of the educative system. Most of the parents claim that their children benefit from a better education there than at home. More than 85% of the parents assert that Singapore is a very safe place to raise a child.

… but also very expensive in general

Nearly 90% of the parents in Singapore admit that they spend more money there than at home in terms of raising children.

This assertion can be generalized to many kinds of expenses. Indeed, most of the expatriates – whether parents, young workers or students - confirm that they spend more money there on going out, food, healthcare and utilities than they did previously at home.

Getting ready to expatriate in Singapore ?

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Date of publication Jul 29 2016