These are the top 10 countries for expats

Key Points
  • Five European cities make it into the top 10 rankings of most livable cities for expats
  • The number one city holds the top spot for the third year running
Travelers make their way to flights in the concourse of Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
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Many of us dream of living and working abroad, but deciding where will provide the most professional and personal benefits is often an entirely different ball game.

HSBC's annual Expat Explorer league table ranks the countries that manage it best, according to surveys from people who have taken the plunge. The survey was completed by 27,587 expats from 159 countries and territories through an online questionnaire in March and April 2017.

Here's the list of the top 10 for 2017:

10. United Arab Emirates

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Ranked as this year's tenth most popular country for expat-living is the United Arab Emirates.

With average annual earnings topping $127,197, the Middle Eastern state performed especially well on its economics, but lagged behind on family benefits and overall life experience.

9. Austria

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Austria, set in the heart of Europe, enjoys beautiful scenery and, according to expats, a high quality of living.

The country ranked especially strongly on economics and overall experience, but lacked somewhat on education and other family-related criteria.

8. Sweden

Stockholm, Sweden
Ellen Rooney | Robert Harding World Imagery | Getty Images

Celebrated for its good economy and family benefits, Sweden came in eighth position this year.

However, it fell short on overall life experience, coming in well behind the other countries within the top 10.

7. Australia

Qantas wants non-stop long haul flights to Sydney, Australia.
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Ranking as the seventh most popular destination for expats this year, along with good weather, Australia enjoys a high ranking for overall life experience.

Expats can also expect to earn well here, taking in an average annual income of $102,813.

6. Canada

Vancouver, Canada
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Canada is a strong contender across the board for expats looking for a home away from home, according to this year's survey.

Three-quarters of expats say they have integrated well into the local culture since moving to Canada, and 65 percent say their quality of life is now better.

5. Netherlands

Amsterdam, Netherlands
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The Netherlands leads the way in terms of family experience, coming in ahead of even the number one in this regard.

The country's quality of education and general safety saw it jump 10 spaces this year to fifth place.

4. Germany

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Unsurprisingly, Germany ranked in the top three for the strength of its economy, boasting good pay and strong business prospects.

However, it fell short on overall life experience this year, slipping out of third place.

3. New Zealand

North Island, Auckland, New Zealand.
Eye Ubiquitous | UIG | Getty Image

New Zealand slipped from second place this year to come in as the third most desirable country for expats.

Blessed with stunning landscapes, it came in first place for experience, with 58 percent of expats saying they moved there to improve their quality of life. However, it lagged behind on economics, coming in far behind all others within the top 10.

2. Norway

Geiranger fjord, Norway
Moment | Getty Images

Norway narrowly missed out on first place this year, emerging just short with regards to overall life experience.

The country has shot ahead since 2016 though, rising four places over the past year on the back of its strong economy and safe environment for families.

1. Singapore

Singapore's Marina Bay skyline at sunset.
Getty Images

Singapore landed the top spot for the third year running in 2017, thanks to its strong performance across the full range of economic, experience and family criteria.

The city scored especially highly with regards to improving earnings and job prospects. The average annual salary comes in at $117,904. This is $18,000 higher than the average expat income globally. However, this higher earning potential also reflects a higher cost of living. Just 31 percent of expats own homes in Singapore.

"A strong economy, impressive track record for families and confidence in their financial affairs are among the many reasons expat life in Singapore is outstanding," the report noted.

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