ECONOMY, HR & EDUCATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Singapore is the fifth most popular expat destination: study

Expats are having a hard time to have work-life balance and to find local friends in the Lion City.

Singapore ranked fifth in the world’s most popular destination for expatriates, a study by expat website InterNations found. The Lion City ranked first amongst 68th countries in terms of travel and transportation as 9 in 10 expats said that they as satisfied with the country’s transportation infrastructure and the travel opportunities.

However, it was dragged down by work-life balance as only 62% of expats rate the factor positively. Moreover, the friendliness of Singapore’s local population seems to have also affected the country’s appeal for expats as only 7% said that their friends in Singapore are mostly local Singaporeans.

“Sometimes I feel that people are friendly because they have to be, not because they want to be, and that makes it not genuine to me,” a Swedish respondent said.

Despite this, expats who believe that Singapore locals are generally friendly inched up 71% from 61% in 2017.

Aside from the good quality of transportation, the country also received good reviews for the quality of life, making the city-state fourth place for the factor. Meanwhile, it ranked sixth for safety and security as expats believe in the country’s political stability (91%), peacefulness (92%), and their personal safety (98%) which is considerably higher than the respective global average (63%, 78%, and 82%).

In addition, 92% of expats are satisfied with the state of the country’s economy, compared to 64% globally. 7 in 10 are also generally satisfied with their jobs whilst 69% are happy with their career prospects.

In terms of digital life, Singapore placed eight with 95% of expats saying they access high-speed internet access and 93% satisfied with the availability of online government services.

Amongst the factors included in the study are quality of life, ease of setting in, working abroad, family life, personal finance, and cost of living.

According to the study, Bahrain is the most popular destination for expats, followed by Taiwan, Ecuador, and Mexico.

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