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10 Countries where You can Earn More as an Expat than You Would at Home

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Sep ,12 \NewNews

Taking home a bigger paycheck sounds nice to just about anyone.

It sounds so nice to some people that they will move to a different country to earn more money.

Echternach in Luxembourg Paul Hilbert / LFT

Globally, 41% of expats relocated because of their career or their partner’s career, whether by choice or out of necessity, according to the Expat Insider 2017 report from expatriate network and global guide InterNations.

To compile the data, InterNations surveyed 12,519 expats, representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries around the world.

In the survey, expats were asked to compare their current income to the income they would earn at home for the same or a similar job.

The top 10 countries where at least 60% of expats said they earn more than at home are concentrated in the Middle East and Northern Europe. But it’s all relative — the report found expats’ satisfaction with their personal finances varied greatly depending on cost of living and the state of the country’s economy, even if workers were earning a higher dollar amount than in their home country.

For instance, 76% of expats in Luxembourg report earning a higher income — a greater share than any other country surveyed — but 23% said their disposable household income is still not enough to cover everything they need in daily life.

Below, learn more about the 10 countries where expats are earning more money than they would at home, and how it affects their personal finances.

10. Singapore​

• 62% of expats in Singapore think they make more than they would in a similar position back home — one-third believe their income is a lot higher.

• 43% have a gross annual household income of more than $100,000. On average, 21% of global expats have household earnings above six-figures.

• Still, cost of living is particularly high in Singapore, securing it a spot in the bottom 10 on the cost of living index.

9. Norway​

• 72% of expats in Norway believe they make more than they would in a similar position back home — 33% say it’s a lot more.

• Yet, 71% judge the cost of living less than favorably.

• On the bright side: Norway ranks among the top 10 destinations for work-life balance worldwide.

8. United Arab Emirates

 

• 71% of expats believe they make more in the UAE than they would in a similar position back home — about half think that they make a lot more.

• 16% have an annual household income of more than $150,000, compared to only one in ten expats worldwide.

• However, 67% rate the affordability of housing in UAE negatively, and 27% say their disposable household income is not enough to cover everything they need for daily life.

7. Nigeria​

• 68% of expats in Nigeria believe they make more than they would in a similar position back home.

• One in ten expats has an annual household income of more than $200,000 — 86% say their disposable household income is enough to cover everything they need.

• Despite coming in at No. 12 on the personal fiance index, Nigeria ranked last on the quality of life index due to poor rankings for health and well-being, safety and security, and transportation.

6. Saudi Arabia

• 70% of expats in Saudi Arabia think they earn more than they would in a similar position back home — 42% think that it is a lot more.

• 87% say their disposable household income is enough or more than enough to cover everything they need in daily life — 22% even say that they have a lot more than enough.

• Despite good pay for workers, Saudi Arabia ranks low on the indices for family life and child education options.

5. Bahrain​

• 70% of expats in Bahrain believe their income is higher than what they would make at home — 41% think their income is a lot higher.

• Bahrain tanks third in the working abroad index, thanks to excellent ratings in job & career and work/life balance subcategories.

• 93% of expats in Bahrain work full-time, spending an average of 42.9 hours a week at work compared to the global average of 44.3 hours.

4. Kuwait​

• But 70% of expats in Kuwait think their income is higher than what they would make in a similar position in their home country.

• Still, incomes are low — 62% have a disposable household income of less than $50,000.

• Many expats in Kuwait move from India (22%) and the Philippines (13%), countries with low incomes, which could explain why they rate their incomes in Kuwait as much higher.

3. Qatar​

• 76% of expats in Qatar believe their income is higher than what they would make in a similar position back home — 46% say it is a lot higher.

• One-third of expats have disposable household income of at least $100,000.

• 67% of expats in Qatar found the cost of housing to be unaffordable — yet, 81% still feel that their household income is enough or more than enough to get by.

2. Switzerland

• 77% of expats in Switzerland believe their income is higher than what they would make in a similar position back home — 44% say it is a lot higher.

• 57% of expats in Switzerland have an annual gross household income of at least $100,000 —14% make $200,000 or more.

• Due to the high cost of living, 17% of expats are still unhappy with their financial situation.

1. Luxembourg

• 76% of expats who are working in Luxembourg believe that they make more than they would in a similar position back home.

• Still, 23% of expats in Luxembourg say their disposable household income is not enough to cover everything they need in daily life.

• 66% of expats rate the cost of living negatively in Luxembourg.

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