CANBERRA (Reuters Life!) - Looking to work overseas? Head to Canada, Australia or Thailand, according to an annual global survey which found recession-hit Britain was one of the worst locations to live for expatriates.
The second annual Expat Experience survey, commissioned by HSBC Bank International, revealed that expats in Canada have the best quality of life and found it among the easiest places in the world to integrate with the local population.
Australia and Thailand also came in the top three in the survey of 3,146 people working in 30 different industries and 50 countries, even though Thailand was one of the countries worst-hit by the recession for expats.
“We have seen that there is a distinct trade-off between income and overall quality of life, as many of the top performers ... scored toward the bottom of this report’s league table (of the best places to make and save money),” said Betony Taylor, spokeswoman for HSBC Bank International.
“What is clear is that the locations where salaries may not be as high, such as Canada and Australia, are where expats are really enjoying not only an increased quality of life but are also finding it easy to fit in to their new communities.”
Last year Germany, Canada and Spain were the top three countries deemed to have the best lifestyle for expats.
This year Britain was one of the lowest ranked locations when it came to lifestyle after being named as one of the most expensive places for expats with the recession taking its toll.
About 44 percent of expats in Britain are considering returning home, compared with only 15 percent of expats overall.
About 41 percent of expats in Britain find it difficult to find somewhere to live, most find the quality of their accommodation drops after moving to Britain, and a third claim their health has deteriorated since moving there.
“Despite this, the UK does hold the crown for being expat entertainment capital of the world, with over half (58 percent) of expats in the UK saying that the quality of entertainment had increased,” said Taylor.
She added that 62 percent of expats also said that employment prospects were the main reason keeping them in the region.
Results from a different section of the survey, which was conducted by research company FreshMinds, released earlier found Russia was home to the highest proportion of expats earning more than $250,000 with 30 percent of international workers there banking that amount, followed by Hong Kong and Japan.
The lowest-paid expats live in Australia and Belgium with the majority — 63 percent and 61 percent respectively — earning less than $100,000.
Reporting by Belinda Goldsmith, Editing by Miral Fahmy