Australia is among the top countries for expats to live -- here are 26 other places

iStockNorway topped the list.
  • HSBC’s “Expat Explorer” lets you to find the best countries for expats using any combination of criteria.
  • Job security, wage growth, safety, and a good quality of life are important factors when choosing a country to settle in.
  • Norway, Singapore, and Switzerland are the best countries for expats based on those factors.

Living in a foreign country can be challenging – and even a bit frightening – but it can be a lot easier if you live somewhere with strong job security, a safe environment, and a rich, fun social life.

According to HSBC’s “Expat Explorer Survey,” the average expat has an income of $US99,900, a 25% increase from their salary in their home country, and many expats report a better quality of life and better work-life balances than they had in their home country.

Wage growth is a vital economic factor for many people as they look to become expats. The countries where expats see the highest income increase are Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates. Expats’ income grows by at least 50% when they move to one of these three countries. Switzerland also has the highest annual income for expats at $US193,006.

But it’s not all about the money. HSBC’s global report also found that safety and quality of life are important indicators for people looking to live abroad. Cost of living also matters for people living in a new country.

Business Insider looked at the best countries for expats that have high marks in five categories: job security, wage growth, safety, quality of life, and social life.

Along with each country, we listed the monthly rent for a two-bedroom house, subway fare, the price of a cappuccino, the price of a McDonald’s Big Mac meal, and the cost for one month of internet service. (For the few countries where subway data was not available, bus fare was used instead.)

Below, check out 27 of the best countries for expats.


27. United Kingdom

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US4,300-$US5,730

Subway fare: $US4.87

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US8.58

Cappuccino: $US4.58

Internet per month: $US40.11


26. Belgium

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US1,484

Subway fare: $US2.60

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US9.89

Cappuccino: $US3.71

Internet per month: $US44.52


25. Portugal

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US1,484

Subway fare: $US1.79

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US6.80

Cappuccino: $US1.86

Internet per month: $US30.92


24. India

Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US1,833-$US2,291

Subway fare: $US0.34

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US4.58

Cappuccino: $US3.06

Internet per month: $US26.35


23. Kuwait

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US2,502

Bus fare: $US1.00

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US6.67

Cappuccino: $US4.67

Internet per month: $US36.69


22. Saudi Arabia

Karim Jaafar/ Getty Images

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US1,466-$US1,866

Bus fare: $US0.53

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US5.87

Cappuccino: $US3.73

Internet per month: $US42.66


21. Spain

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US1,422

Subway fare: $US1.86

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US9.89

Cappuccino: $US2.47

Internet per month: $US51.95


20. France

iStock

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US4,700

Subway fare: $US1.24

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US9.89

Cappuccino: $US5.55

Internet per month: $US39.58


19. The Netherlands

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US2,474

Subway fare: $US3.71

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US9.89

Cappuccino: $US3.71

Internet per month: $US39.58


18. Canada

Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US2,623-$US2,782

Subway fare: $US2.58

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US7.15

Cappuccino: $US3.58

Internet per month: $US49.28


17. Qatar

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US3,433-$US4,175

Bus fare: $US1.51

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US6.32

Cappuccino: $US5.49

Internet per month: $US87.89


16. South Korea

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US2,611

Subway fare: $US1.07

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US5.59

Cappuccino: $US4.20

Internet per month: $US25.17


15. Taiwan

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US2,316

Subway fare: $US0.85

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US4.26

Cappuccino: $US3.07

Internet per month: $US23.85


14. New Zealand

Ariel Schwartz/Business Insider

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US479

Subway fare: $US2.94

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US7.36

Cappuccino: $US3.83

Internet per month: $US66.26


13. Sweden

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US2,614

Subway fare: $US4.52

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US8.91

Cappuccino: $US4.28

Internet per month: $US31.49


12. Czech Republic

Prague, Czech Republic. iStock

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US823

Subway fare: $US1.18

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US5.88

Cappuccino: $US2.25

Internet per month: $US20.87


11. Austria

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US2,252

Subway fare: $US2.72

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US7.20

Cappuccino: $US3.05

Internet per month: $US27.22


10. Australia

Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US2,100

Subway fare: $US3.11

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US7.78

Cappuccino: $US2.96

Internet per month: $US50.57


9. Hong Kong

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US11,464

Subway fare: $US1.91

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US4.46

Cappuccino: $US5.10

Internet per month: $US26.75


8. Bahrain

The World Trade Centre in Golden Hour in Manama. Photo: iStock

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US3,448

Bus fare: $US0.80

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US6.50

Cappuccino: $US5.30

Internet per month: $US37.13


7. Japan

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US5,601

Subway fare: $US1.87

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US6.25

Cappuccino: $US3.55

Internet per month: $US37.34


6. Germany

iStock

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US1,857-$US3,094

Subway fare: $US3.34

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US9.28

Cappuccino: $US3.71

Internet per month: $US49.51


5. Oman

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US35,064

Bus fare: $US0.52

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US6.75

Cappuccino: $US4.68

Internet per month: $US62.34


4. United Arab Emirates

Getty Images. Dubai.

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US3,267

Subway fare: $US0.68

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US6.81

Cappuccino: $US5.17

Internet per month: $US95.29


3. Switzerland

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US4,167-$US4,687

Subway fare: $US4.69

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US15.62

Cappuccino: $US6.25

Internet per month: $US60.42


2. Singapore

fad3away via Wikimedia Commons

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US5,340

Subway fare: $US1.91

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US5.72

Cappuccino: $US4.58

Internet per month: $US34.33


1. Norway

Furnished two-bedroom house rent: $US4,113

Subway fare: $US5.14

McDonald’s Big Mac meal: $US12.85

Cappuccino: $US4.91

Internet per month: $US44.34

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