Singapore ranks as the top nation overall for expats.
Bill O’Reilly, host of Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” vowed recently that he would move to Ireland if Bernie Sanders was elected President. Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is compelling several celebrities to consider updating their passports, among them: Miley Cyrus, Whoopi Goldbergm Al Sharpton, Samuel L. Jackson, and Cher, who proclaimed she would move to Jupiter if Trump was elected.
Jupiter seems like a stretch (and some may joke that Cher has been living in outer space for years), but for those who are serious about living abroad, the latest annual HSBC Expat Explorer Survey offers some direction. More often than not, when celebrities threaten to leave the country for whatever grievance, they proclaim they will move to Canada. They are not alone. The website Mashable quotes Google Data Editor Simon Rogers that following Super Tuesday voting results, there was a 350 percent surge in searches for “how can I move to Canada?”
But the Expat Explorer survey suggests they may want to broaden their horizons. The Great White North ranks a mere sixth on the list of the best nations for expats. No. 1 overall is Singapore, followed by New Zealand, Sweden, Bahrain and Germany. Rounding out the top 10 after Canada are Australia, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates and Switzerland.
The eighth edition of HSBC’s annual survey polled roughly 22,000 expats around the world, including about 3,000 Americans living abroad in about 100 countries.
It’s not just politics that would compel Americans to live outside the United States. Economic opportunity and a more frugal-based quality of life are other considerations. A 2013 Spectrem Group survey of Affluent investors found that close to one-fourth of Millionaires considered applying for a job overseas, or had a friend or family member thinking of seeking better economic opportunity abroad.
For those individuals, the HSBC Expat Explorer identifies Switzerland, Sweden and Germany as the top destinations for career enhancement in terms of such considerations as work/life balance, job security and earnings potential. “Europe offers the best all-around careers experience, especially for aspects such as job satisfaction,” Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, said in a statement.
Looking for love? Almost half (46 percent) of expats have found a long-term partner abroad, while 49 percent of expat couples have said that the move has brought them closer together. According to the HSBC Expat Explorer survey, the Philippines is the top country for expats seeking a long-term partner, followed by Argentina and Sweden. Narrowing the field to Europe, Sweden and Italy were named the top countries for expats looking for love, followed by Germany and the UK.
Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.
A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.