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India has second-largest proportion of highly paid expats in the world: HSBC

29 October 2014

India is home to the second largest proportion of high-earning expatriates in the world after China and ahead of Switzerland, Russia and Hong Kong, reveals the seventh Expat Explorer survey commissioned by HSBC Expat.

The Expat Explorer survey, conducted by YouGov, is one of the largest global surveys of expats. This year, nearly 9,300 expats from around the world shared their views on quality of life, financial well-being and the ease of raising a family abroad.

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 summarises 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. Countries are scored on a scale of zero to one, with the highest score ranking first and the lowest ranking last. All scores are rounded to two decimal points.

In all 18 per cent of expats working in India draw a salary of $250,000 or more every year while 29 per cent expats in China earn a similar annual salary, according to the survey. The proportion of expats drawing similar salaries is 17 per cent in Switzerland and 16 per cent each in Russia and Hong Kong.

Expats in India also report greater savings on everyday expenses and have substantial disposable income when compared to their home countries. Expats in India spend less on utilities (43 per cent ), groceries (42 per cent), clothing (42 per cent), healthcare (41 per cent), housing (40 per cent) and household goods (40 per cent), the survey revealed.

According to Sanjiv Sud, head, retail manking and wealth management, HSBC India, ''India as a country offers exciting career opportunities for expatriates who have the right skill-set and global experience. With robust GDP growth projections, multinationals setting up shops here and Indian corporates hiring overseas talent to lead their businesses, the country will continue to offer lucrative career prospects to expatriates.''

"New-age" sectors such as telecommunication, information technology and internet account for 21 per cent of total expats working in India followed by construction and engineering (19 per cent), the survey showed. In all 23 per cent of expats working in India are from United Kingdom followed by the United States (14 per cent) and Japan and Canada at 7 per cent each.

The age profile of expats working in India is fairly spread with 50 per cent of them in the age bracket of 35-54 years and 43% in the range of 18-34 years, the survey revealed.

Switzerland most desirable destination for expats
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 while India stood 9th in the list.

Many expats in Switzerland comment on the country's high quality of air and pleasant surroundings, with three quarters (75 per cent) agreeing that this is an improvement on their home country.

Expat parents report that Switzerland offers benefits for families too, believing their offspring are now safer (81 per cent), enjoy a better quality of life (77 per cent) and receive a better education (65 per cent), the survey showed.

Best expat destinations
1. Switzerland
2. Singapore
3. China
4. Germany
5. Bahrain
6. New Zealand
7. Thailand
8. Taiwan
9. India
10. Hong Kong

Lower living costs and good perks for families make India an increasingly attractive expat destination, according to the survey.

Expatriates have ranked India 6th in terms of raising children, ahead of Canada placed at 8th and China 12th positions. The survey showed New Zealand is placed at the top of the chart by expatriates in terms of raising children.

Sud, says, ''Expatriates enjoy a better life style in India as the operational and commodity costs are substantially lower compared to the west. This helps them save money for the future and also have substantial disposable income.''

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