Expats "Surprised" by Vietnam, Ranks 10th Best

Vietnam moves up eight places to be ranked in the top 10 places for expats to live and work – according to an HSBC survey. The survey looks at looks at topics including personal finance, work-life balance, and the overall cost of raising children.
Expats "Surprised" by Vietnam, Ranks 10th Best
By Carli Allan
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Vietnam is ranked the 10th best destination for expats to live and work according to HSBC’s annual Expat Explorer Survey. The country has jumped eight places from 18th place in 2018 to 10th place this year.

The 2019 survey, which was completed by more than 18,000 expats worldwide, looks at topics including personal finance, work-life balance, and the overall cost of raising children. As well as being listed in three league tables – Work & Finance, Living and Family – countries are given an overall global ranking.

Read our guide to getting a place at an international school in Vietnam here.

Vietnam is ranked 20th in the league table of 33 countries for family, 12th for living, and third for work and finance, and is one of only two Asian countries to be ranked in the overall top 10.

In the living table, while Vietnam scores highly by expats for the ease of settling into the country and its welcoming communities; it scores at the lower end for quality of life. In terms of work and finance, expats feel that Vietnam offers a low income but has a good work-life balance and high disposable income.

Vietnam is ranked 29th by expats for its quality of education. The country's international school sector is relatively new compared to many other expat destinations in South East Asia, and the first school – International School Ho Chi Minh City (ISHCMC) – only opened 25 years ago in 1993. Since then there has been a steady rise in the number of primary, secondary and all-through schools, which are mainly located in the expat friendly cities of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

The HSBC report says: "Most expats moving to the country say they were able to quickly adjust to the way of life there, feeling at home within the first few months of arriving. This is largely due to Vietnamese communities being welcoming and encouraging expats to get involved with their impressive calendar of cultural events leading to many strong friendships being formed within a short amount of time.

"Expats are also pleasantly surprised by the benefits of working in Vietnam. Many receive salary increases which, given the relatively low cost of living, provides them with far more spending power to enjoy everything the country has to offer. With improved work life balance, it is no surprise that expats find more time to invest in making new friends."

Elsewhere in Asia, Singapore tops the league table for family life due to its quality of education and availability of top-tier schools. However, for the first time in four years, Singapore is no longer rated as the best place in the world for expats to work and live. After holding the top spot since 2015, the country has moved to second place after Switzerland. 

After Switzerland and Singapore, Germany, Canada and Spain were named as the next best expat destinations in the league’s top five. In other parts of Asia, Hong Kong was 15th, Malaysia 16th, and Thailand 22nd.

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