UK Improves its Desirability Rank for Expats

The UK has risen five places since 2017 as a place for expatriates to work and live, according to the latest Expat Explorer Survey by HSBC. The country scores best for economic opportunity.
UK Improves its Desirability Rank for Expats
By David Westley
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The UK has been ranked 22nd out of a list of 31 countries in a new survey assessing the overall desirability of a country for expats.

The HSBC Expat Explorer Survey was completed by more than 22,000 expats worldwide, and looks at a range of criteria including personal finance, work-life balance, and the overall cost of raising children. The criteria fall within three general headers: Economics, Experience and Family.

The country ranks in 12th place for the quality of its schools, but 21st for child care quality and 22nd for the overall cost of education. Overall the country is positioned 27th for families in 2018, and scores particularly poorly for social life and integration. It scores very highly for tolerance however.

According to the survey expats in the UK are "young, educated and ambitious", and "not put off by its [relatively] low experience and family rankings". Half its expats are under 35 and more than two fifths have a postgraduate degree.

Half of respondents say work/life balance is better in the UK than it is at home, and six in ten prefer the working culture in the UK than in their home country. Two-thirds of respondents say there are more opportunities to acquire new skills in the UK.

Almost half go to the UK to "progress their careers".

According to the survey expats in the UK are rewarded for their ambitions with a 29% average increase in salary after moving. The average salary of an expatriate, according to HSBC, is UKP 100,705. 

The UK has risen five places since the 2017 rankings.

HSBC carries out its expat survey annually, with the aid of YouGov. The survey is interesting in its attempt to interview a similar demographic across the world, probably best described as white collar, senior and highly mobile, global work warriors, or GWWS for short. Equally that makes the survey highly partial with a particular, and quite niche view of who and what an expatriate is.

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