Emerging markets are by far the best place in the world for expats to live according to the latest HSBC Expat Economics report for 2010, which compares expats’ wealth. The report compares the number of expats earning over $200,000 per year, the number with disposable income of more than $3000 per month, the number who have increased savings since moving to a different country, and the number of expats with 2 or more luxury items in their current country of residence.
As you can see below, the top 10 is dominated by emerging markets, though surprisingly China only just scraped into the top 10.
The clearest findings of the report are in the section titled “Wealth Continues to Move East”. That — as we can see from the table above – Russia and Eastern Destinations are leading the way in expat wealth.
Russia held the top spot 2 years running, it’s top spot last year was especially noteworthy, because Mercer’s also found that Russia had the highest living costs in the world.
This year, 36% of expats living in Russia are earning over $250,000 per year, followed by Singapore with 32%, then Bermuda with 27%.
This is compared to the global average of 13% of expats earning above that amount. And compared to the bottom four: Spain, where 62% of expats earn less than $60,000 per year, as do 47% of expats living in France and the Netherlands, and 45% of expats living in Germany.
Those established markets will not be proud of their position in the bottom half of the table along with South Africa, although the positions are well deserved; the global average for expats earning less than $60k is 26%.
However, to be fair, we must remember that this is a table concerning expat wealth, and is therefore more a reflection of the different reasons for immigrating to these countries than the emerging markets covered above.
While the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China) have hardly dominated the top 10, their performance has still been impressive, in fact, according to HSBC they are still the world’s emerging market hotspots. Of expats around the world, 64% have reported increased career opportunities since emigrating, compared to 82% in Russia, and 70% in India and China.
The United Kingdom is in the bottom quarter of the table, with a very poor performance, so, it looks like we all better get packing for decent earnings and job opportunities.