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Expats in Switzerland and New Zealand may be having it best according to a new global study out today from HSBC Expat, but, as the survey points out, expatriate life in the US is far from gloomy.

The Expat Explorer survey is one of the largest global expat studies. This year, nearly 9,300 expats from around the world, including over 500 based in the US, shared their views on quality of life, financial wellbeing and the ease of raising a family abroad. The results show that while Switzerland emerges as the world’s favourite overall expat destination and New Zealand is viewed as the best place to raise a family, the United States continues to prove its worth as an expat hotspot in several important areas.

“There are a great many decisions involved in making the move abroad, ranging from consideration of finances and managing money, right through to integrating into the local community and arranging childcare.”

Andrew Ireland, EVP and Head of Premier Banking, HSBC Bank USA, N.A.

Educational advantages – majority opt for a state education

  • For those expats with a family, the US education system adds to the country’s appeal. Over three quarters (78%) of expat parents are opting to state educate their children compared with the global average of 37%
  • Half of expat parents additionally rank the US in their top three best countries for schooling1

Economic benefits – saving for retirement locally

  • For older expats, a mature economy appears to be one reason for the ongoing popularity of the US, with a large proportion opting to keep the majority of their retirement provisions inside the country (65% compared with the global average of 41%)

Integration made easy – three quarters find US assimilation ‘easy’

  • The US rates highly among expats for ease of integration, ranking among the top 10 countries in the study. 73% of respondents said that they found it easy to assimilate in to the local community (compared with the global average of 65%)
  • Close to two-thirds (65%) also commented on the ease with which they were able to find accommodation (compared with the global average of 54%)

Once settled, most expats are here to stay

  • Once in the US most expats put down roots, with seven in ten (71%) expressing an intention to remain in the country (compared with the global average of 61%)

Ireland continued: “This year’s Expat Explorer league table shows that there are many countries that offer a good balance, providing expats with a rewarding and exciting experience, including the United States. Expats can view the full results by visiting the Expat Explorer interactive tool, where they can discover more about where they live now as well as find inspiration for the future.”

Note to editors:
1. Value of Education report, HSBC, 2014, p.7

About the Expat Explorer survey

The Expat Explorer survey was completed by 9,288 expats from over 100 countries through an online questionnaire, conducted by YouGov on behalf of HSBC Expat, in April and May 2014. A minimum sample of 100 expat respondents including at least 30 expat parents is required for a country to be included in the Expat Explorer league table. This year, 34 countries qualified for the league table.

The Expat Explorer league table ranks each country using a score that summarizes expats’ overall impression of the country. The Expat Explorer score is the average of the Expat Economics, Expat Experience and Raising Children Abroad scores, covering 43 different criteria from the survey.

Switzerland is ranked as the number one country by expats looking for a well-balanced, high quality lifestyle – followed by Singapore, China, Germany and Bahrain.

US rankings
Expat Explorer ranking – 30th out of 34 countries
Expat Economics ranking – 24th out of 34 countries
Expat Experience ranking – 25th out of 34 countries
Raising Children Abroad ranking -29th out of 34 countries

To view the complete report, visit:
The study is now in its seventh year.

About HSBC

HSBC Expat is a trading name of HSBC Bank International Limited. HSBC Expat is an award winning provider of offshore financial services, with its head office based in Jersey, Channel Islands. It also has representation in Dubai and Hong Kong. As part of HSBC Holdings plc, HSBC Expa{Pt has the experience to offer customers living and working abroad, tailored offshore financial solutions. For more information visit:

HSBC Holdings plc, the parent company of the HSBC Group, is headquartered in London. The Group serves customers worldwide from over 6,200 offices in 74 countries and territories in, Asia, Europe, North and Latin America, and the Middle East and North Africa. With assets of US$2,754bn at 30 June 2014, HSBC is one of the world’s largest banking and financial services organisations.

HSBC Bank USA, National Association (HSBC Bank USA, N.A.), with total assets of US $179.6bn as of 31 March 2014 (US GAAP), serves 3 million customers through Retail Banking and Wealth Management, Commercial Banking, Private Banking, Asset Management, and Global Banking and Markets segments. It operates more than 240 bank branches throughout the United States. There are over 155 in New York State as well as branches in: California; Connecticut; Delaware; Washington, D.C.; Florida; Maryland; New Jersey; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Virginia; and Washington State. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is the principal subsidiary of HSBC USA Inc., an indirect, wholly-owned subsidiary of HSBC North America Holdings Inc. HSBC Bank USA, N.A. is a member of the FDIC.

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