UK expats are urged to set sail for Singapore as research reveals it to be the most ideal location for those looking to move abroad.
The study found that overall, the Southeast Asian city state topped the charts when it came to the lowest levels of crime and unemployment as well as having the highest education standards and the most efficient healthcare system.
In total, the research by international removals specialist, 1st Move International, studied 18 countries, including less traditional destinations for UK expats.
Second and third to Singapore were Canada and Australia, which both scored highly for incomes and English reading, speaking and writing levels, but were let down by living costs, property prices and crime rates.
Spain, France and South Africa which all have high UK expat populations performed poorly, largely due to low incomes, high income tax, but also due to social factors such as unemployment, education healthcare and crime, but also English speaking levels, as did China, India, Brazil and Russia.
In number one ranking Singapore, take home pay is almost double that in the UK, due to higher average annual incomes and a lower top level of income tax (22% compared to 45%), a Brit earning the average wage in Singapore could walk away with £33,019.26* in their pocket every year after tax, almost double £18,497.52* in the UK.
The city state was also top when it came to healthcare. In Singapore, you can expect quicker diagnosis with better medical technology as well as shorter waiting times, quicker test results and better staff. Comparatively, the UK healthcare system placed 10 on the efficiency scale for the countries examined.
With a 2.1% unemployment rate, Singapore’s jobless rate is twice as little than UK’s figure 4.8%, leading to improved job prospects on top of higher incomes, in addition to the world’s best education system meaning a brighter future for expats looking to relocate their families. Topping the charts for unemployment were South Africa and Spain with 27.1% and 18.9%.
If that’s not enough, English is listed as an official language in the former British colony, it is also the language of business and government as well as being the language children are taught with in schools, making it easier for people from the UK to settle in.
1st Move did the research by examining the figures on eleven different sets of data provided from sources such as: The OECD, UN, World Bank, Bloomberg, Trading Economics and Numbeo. The figures were then ranked by the most favourable results which provided an overall ranking table.
The data included looked at 11 different factors:
- GDP per capita
- HDI rank
- Property price to income ratio
- Average income
- Income tax
- Real income
- English proficiency
- Education standards
- Food costs
- Crime rate
- Healthcare efficiency
How the other countries performed
At the other end of the scale, India, despite having the lowest cost of food for a weekly shop (£84.62) compared to £174.74 in the UK for a family of four, was statistically the worst location, with once UK expat hotspot South Africa and Brazil making up the bottom three.
Elsewhere other countries outperformed Singapore and the UK across different factors but overall, they did not perform as highly as a whole on the scale of liveability and the chance of better prospects.
USA (5th overall) had the best property price to income ratio but poor rankings on healthcare, education and crime let it down. Similarly, the UAE had strong economic appeal due to cheap property and the highest real income, due to no tax, however social factors had adverse effects.
Norway topped the scale on English proficiency and on the HDI index but unemployment, high taxes and living costs had negative connotations on its overall standing, dragging it down to 6th.
Spain, which has close to one million UK expats performed poorly, with annual wages lower than the UK’s, and 18.9% level of unemployment making the country not so sunny for people looking to emigrate for socioeconomic reasons.
Jim Limerick, Owner, at 1st Move, said: “We were expecting to see the traditional destinations perform quite well, such as: the USA, Spain and Australia, but this wasn’t the case.
“Some countries did really well on certain things but there were factors on the data we examined which dragged them down. Singapore was consistently strong, making it appealing to potential UK expats on a wide range of financial and social reasons, which tend to be the main driving factors of people looking to emigrate from the UK.
“With more money in your pocket, no language problems and an average annual temperature in the high twenties, what isn’t there to love!”