Expats praise the lifestyle in Spain and rate the country particularly highly on the ‘experience’ list. SUR
39 per cent of expats in Spain believe that the country is on the “wrong economic track” and 58 per cent believe it is “becoming a worse place for expats to live and work,” according to a new poll.
Yet the annual HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, the largest annual global study of its kind, concludes that while 92 per cent of expats residing in Spain are “dissatisfied with the economy,” none are “actively looking to leave” with the sunny climate and its relaxed lifestyle seemingly compensating for the country’s ongoing economic uncertainty.
Overall, Spain came 13th on the Survey, in which 5,000 foreign residents in 30 major expat destinations around the world, including Australia, France, Italy South Africa, Switzerland, the United Arab Emirates, and the US, were asked to rank their finances, quality of life, and even raising children.
The top five countries overall, in descending order, were Singapore, Thailand, Cayman Islands, Bermuda and Hong Kong. No European Union country was ahead of Spain in the combined rankings; and, in addition, the Survey reveals that Spain comes third on the poll’s ‘Experience’ league table.
The country’s good weather plays a major part in this favourable result, with 79 per cent of expats in Spain saying the climate was better than in their native country, this is compared to a world average of 29 per cent.
With 37 per cent of expats saying that they lead a more active lifestyle in Spain compared to their counterparts ‘back home’, and with 55 per cent believing that there is a better life/work balance here, Spain’s outdoor lifestyle and amount of leisure time also influenced the positive ranking and contributed to expats wanting to remain in the country.
A spokesman for this year’s HSBC Expat Explorer Survey tells SUR in English: “Despite the economic troubles, Spain is still a highly favoured place amongst expats. The easy going lifestyle, top weather and food appear to make up for the difficult financial times.
“Clearly, expats are aware of and affected by the economic situation, but as only one in ten of respondents moved to Spain to take advantage of a job (against a 31 per cent global average), and because a third of expats in Spain are retirees (compared to nine per cent globally), it’s easy to see why Spain still does well in the overall ranking and extremely well in the ‘Experience’ list, which looks at factors such as healthcare, diet, transport and making new friends.
‘Top expat destination’
Singapore has been crowned as the ‘top expat destination’ in this year’s Survey. Of the English-speaking Asian city-state, the report says: “Singapore is increasingly becoming a major hub for career hunters. Financial incentives and job opportunities are the main reasons for expats moving to Singapore with almost three quarters witnessing an improvement in the financial status of their household, and 80 per cent noticing an increase in disposable income upon locating.
“On top of this, 76 per cent found that their quality of life had improved and almost half report that the level of their accommodation was better.”