This is the top destination for expats globally

Luke Graham | Special to CNBC
Singapore tops best place to live list

Singapore has topped a poll of the best places to live and work for expatriates, according to a survey of 21,950 expats living around the world.

The Expat Explorer country league table, commissioned by HSBC Expat and now in its eighth year, asked expats (anyone who is no longer living in their country of origin) questions about their career, the health of their family and their quality of life in comparison to their previous home.

More than a quarter of expats living in Singapore were able to earn above $200,000 a year, compared to an average of 13 per cent across the survey. The city was seen as having a strong economy and offered better career development, and 67 per cent said Singapore also offered a better quality of life than where they had come from.

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Thirty-nine countries were included in the league tables, and while Singapore came top when balancing work and life, other countries also did well in the rankings.

Cheoh Wee Keat | Getty Images

Sweden was ranked the best place for families (79 per cent of parents said their children's quality of life had improved since moving there) while Switzerland came top for career-focused expats: 77 per cent felt confident about the Swiss economy and 63 per cent found their work more fulfilling in the European financial hub than at home.

Switzerland's status as a leading destination for finance and careers is backed up the Global Financial Centres Index of 84 financial hubs, which was released this week. The Swiss capital of Zurich was placed 7th in the index, while London came top.

"Living abroad allows people to realise a whole range of ambitions. Learning new skills, enjoying a different culture or growing closer to loved ones through a shared adventure: these are just some of the rewards expats tell us they have enjoyed through their time in another country," said Dean Blackburn, Head of HSBC Expat, in a press release.

The top ten overall countries were:

  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. Sweden
  4. Bahrain
  5. Germany
  6. Canada
  7. Australia
  8. Taiwan
  9. United Arab Emirates
  10. Switzerland

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