The 10 Greatest Locations to Dwell and Work, In response to Expats


Maridav /

After working and playing in their home country, some people choose a change of scenery by moving to another country. And among those who have made the transition, certain nations deserve particularly high marks as great places to live and work.

HSBC recently surveyed 20,000 people who live and work abroad as part of the 14th annual Expat Explorer Survey. Almost two thirds of these expats – 65% – are optimistic about the coming year and many rave about their new home countries.

Below are the places that received the top rated places to live and work in 2021.

10. Qatar

A souk in Doha, QatarFaris AlAli Photography /

This Middle Eastern country is known for its friendly and welcoming expat community. Mild winters are also a big plus for many.

However, prepare for oppressive summers. As Expat Arrivals notes, June through August the heat can be unbearable and it can be difficult to find things to do – even in Doha, the country’s largest city.

9. Singapore

Jaromir Chalabala /

When you move to Singapore you won’t be alone. Expatriates make up almost 29% of the country’s population.

Singapore can be a great choice for those still working. It has a reputation for being among the best in the world when it comes to doing business.

The biggest downside here, however, could be the cost. A 2020 report by The Economist ranked Singapore – which bears the name of the country it lives in – the fourth most expensive in the world.

8. Bahrain

Manama, BahrainPREJU SURESH /

This is another nation where expats are arriving in great numbers. According to ExpatFocus, around half of the population comes from elsewhere, including almost 70% of the workforce. The fact that Bahrain does not collect personal taxes attracts ambitious people from all over the world.

However, some may find the nation’s conservative nature negative. Indecent clothing and public displays of affection don’t go down well here.

7. Isle of Man

Peel Castle on the Isle of ManParrySuwanitch /

Do you really want to get away from it all? In the Irish Sea you’ll find the Isle of Man, a retreat with easy access to England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland. About 40% of the land is uninhabitable, and most of the island’s 80,000 residents live in the capital, Douglas, according to Expat Intelligence.

However, don’t expect this island to be exactly sunny and tropical. You will get quite a bit of rain and the winters can be windy.

6. jersey

Saint Helier, Jersey, Channel Islands skylineAllard One /

Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, is not far off the coast of north-west France. The tax rate here is among the lowest in Europe and the weather is far better than mainland England, according to Expat Intelligence.

However, if you want to become a new resident, you need to be identified. Moving to Jersey is “incredibly difficult” according to Expat Intelligence. It is said that the local government is trying to keep the population at around 85,000 as it fears that a larger number of residents would put a strain on resources and infrastructure.

5. Guernsey

The old town of Guernsey, Channel Islandsjax10289 /

Another Channel Island, Guernsey is a “hidden gem” for those looking for a new home, according to

Guernsey is located off the Normandy coast in France and has a population of around 66,000. It shares Jersey’s fine weather and favorable tax system that includes no capital gains, inheritance or sales taxes.

However, because the island is small, the housing stock is limited and strictly controlled.

4. United Arab Emirates

United Arab EmiratesSF /

The United Arab Emirates, the top Middle Eastern nation on this list, is a nation of “balanced contradictions,” according to Expatica. Traditional and modern live side by side and expatriates dominate the population, which makes up 88% of the UAE’s population.

Expatica praises the country for “high salaries, a luxurious lifestyle, fun outdoor activities and more”.

The sticking point for some may be the country’s conservatism. Pre-marriage sex, gay relationships, and pregnancy out of wedlock are all illegal here.

3. New Zealand

New ZealandRuklay Pousajja /

The New Zealand government stands ready to welcome Americans with open arms. The New Zealand Now official website tells you that the US and New Zealand have a lot in common – the same language, popular culture, and great scenery.

So why move to New Zealand? As the Kiwi government says:

“Where we are different is our rhythm of life. Many US expats find New Zealand to be calmer and gentler, with a great work-life balance. “

But before you rush to take root in the island nation, consider some of the negative highlights of expat arrivals, including:

  • Isolation from the rest of the world
  • Expensive accommodation and dental treatment
  • An abundance of mosquitoes and sand flies

2. Australia

Taras Wyschnja /

If you want plenty of room to roam, Australia might be the place for you. This nation of just 21 million people spans more than 3 million square miles, notes Expat Info Desk. The website also praises Australia’s high life expectancy and low stress rate.

However, the cost of living can be higher than what you’re used to in the United States. And if you have pets, think twice: pets entering Australia will be quarantined for up to 120 days. Some breeds of dogs are not welcome at all.

1. Switzerland

Swiss flag on Mannlichen (Jungfrau region near Bern, Switzerland).Natali Glado /

In a sense, Switzerland has it all – “spectacular mountain landscapes, highly developed cities, excellent financial opportunities and a high quality of life,” as HSBC notes. The work-life balance is excellent, and salaries remain high.

However, like Singapore, the high cost of living can be a major disadvantage. The Economist says Zurich is the most expensive city in the world to live in.

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