Expats in Singapore are likely to move from areas of close proximity and similar culture. A high proportion of expats move to Singapore from the neighbouring countries of Malaysia (29%) and Indonesia (8%) while others move from the Asian countries of India (23%), the Philippines (8%) and China (7%). These regional and cultural similarities probably contribute to expats finding it easy to settle in. Not only does Singapore score 5th for ease of setting up but expats also said they found it easy to adjust to the climate (74%) and get used to the new culture and lifestyle (68% against the global average of 59%).
Like other Asian countries, Singapore proves to be a popular destination for younger expats. A significant number (62%) of those living in the country are in the 18-34 age bracket. However, while younger expats are being drawn to other Asian countries to work in education, this is not the case in Singapore. Only 4% of expats work in education, compared to the Asian regional average of 20%. While jobs in education may not be pulling in the masses, the high level of respondents who work in the IT and internet sectors (20%) suggests that Singapore is perhaps attracting younger skilled, expats who, having grown up in the age of the internet, boast a high level of digital fluency.
Indeed, an improvement in career prospects is emerging as the most significant factor driving expats to Singapore, with more than half of respondents (54% compared to a global average of 36%) citing this as the key motivator. This is unsurprising when it is considered that 68% of expats are in full time employment and 61% associate the country with greater earning potential. Despite these employment benefits, job market security is still a major concern for expats in Singapore, with 53% (compared to the global average of 39%) citing it as one of the top three threats to their financial wellbeing and confidence.
This wealth of career opportunities combined with forecasts for greater economic prosperity (54% of expats expect economic growth) contribute to Singapore ranking 9th in the Expat Economics league table. A further 85% of expats report current satisfaction with the economic situation in the country. However, while expats are earning more, they are also spending more as Singapore only ranked 29th in the Expat Expenses league table. As well as the high cost of groceries and going out (65% and 64% said they are spending more respectively), Singapore emerges as one of the most expensive countries for public transport, with 63% of expats pointing out the higher costs.
The education and childcare system is also expensive (79% and 83% saw an increase in cost respectively) but it seems that expats are willing to pay the fees, because the higher costs are justified by the quality of service. Nearly eight in ten (78%) say that the quality of education is better in Singapore and 72% say the same for childcare. Factors such as these contribute to Singapore ranking 2nd out of 24 countries in the Raising Children Abroad league tables.
"Country stability combined with personal security creates ample opportunities." – Expat in Singapore
|Country of origin:||Malaysia (29%);
|Occupation:||IT & Internet (20%);
Construction, Manufacturing, Utilities (14%)
|Age:||18-34 (61%); 35-54 (32%); 55+ (7%)|
|Gender:||Male (45%); Female (55%)|