Top countries for most expats: survey

Switzerland is the best country to be an expat: survey.

Switzerland is the best country to be an expat: survey. (Photo: myswitzerland.com)

Switzerland, Singapore and China may be the top destinations for some of the three million Canadians estimated to be living abroad, but expatriate life in Canada is far from gloomy according to HSBC’s latest Expat Explorer global survey.

The HSBC Expat Explorer report, which came out on Wednesday, was based on one of the largest surveys conducted on expatriates globally.

This year, nearly 9,300 expats from around the world – including 496 currently living and working in Canada – shared their views on quality of life, financial well-being and the ease of raising a family abroad.

Survey highlights of expat life in Canada

Expats enjoy growing older in Canada. Three in 10 expats identified themselves as ‘retired,’ making Canada home to the highest proportion of expat retirees in the world – and well above the global average of just over one in 10.

In fact, 8 in 10 retired expats display significant confidence in Canada’s economy by choosing to keep the majority of their retirement investments in Canada — almost double the global average (41%).

2014 HSBC Expat Explorer Ranking: Top 11 (of 34)

1. Switzerland

2. Singapore

3. China

4. Germany

5. Bahrain

6. New Zealand

7. Thailand

8. Taiwan

9. India

10. Hong Kong

11. Canada

Canada’s public education system was also highly rated in the survey. Not only do expat parents feel that their children are safer and healthier in Canada, but eight in 10 are choosing to enroll their children in Canadian public schools – the highest proportion of any country surveyed, and more than double the global average (37%).

The weather, however, is what most find difficult to get used to. But Canadians, on the other hand, were seen as warm and friendly. More than six in 10 expats say that they find it easy to make local friends, and just under half are socializing more with Canadians than with other expats – well above the global average (31%).

But if you like a hot economy and hot weather, then head to the Middle East. Nearly three-quarters of expats in the Middle East report that they are satisfied with their host country’s current economic outlook – the highest of all regions in this year’s survey.