If you are an expat living in Mumbai, you might be among the few taking home the biggest paycheque. According to the results of the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey, Mumbai has topped the global ranking for expat salaries, and the average expat salary in the city is more than double the global average.
The expat explorer survey collected responses from over 27,500 expats living in 52 cities between March and April 2017. The HSBC defines expats as adults over 18 years old currently living away from their country of origin or home country. Expats from all countries, even if they were not professionals were included in the survey. However, a minimum sample of 90 expats was required for a city to be included in the rankings. The expats were quizzed on job opportunities, living, education, culture and leisure in the city they were living in.
India was ranked at the 14th position, combining the parameters of economics, experience, and family. The average expat income in the country was found to be $ 176,408. On the other hand, Indian nationals abroad earned an average salary of $ 85,906 and chose UK (28%), UAE (21%), and USA (8%) as the top destination for working. The results also show that a foreigner moving to Mumbai earns an average annual salary of $ 217,165, which is more than twice the global average of $ 99,903. Edinburgh had the lowest expat earnings in the list, at $ 56,250 per year.
The Top 10 Cities for Expat earnings, with their annual average salary, are as follows:
1. Mumbai ($ 217,165)
2. San Francisco ($ 207,227)
3. Zurich ($ 206,875)
4. Shanghai ($ 202,211)
5. Geneva ($ 184,942)
6. New York City ($ 182,240)
7. Los Angeles ($ 161,126)
8. Jakarta ($ 152,589)
9. Hong Kong ($ 148,410)
10. Paris ($ 139,602)
However, Mumbai including most other Asian cities in the Top 10 ranked notably lower in providing expats with job opportunities. While San Francisco took the first spot in the list providing maximum job opportunities, it was followed by London, New York, Dublin, and Birmingham. Furthermore, Mumbai did not feature near the top in any other category, be it culture, public spaces, affordable living or education. Here are some other interesting findings of the survey:
- 41% of the respondents stated that moving to a different country has given them a more positive outlook on life.
- The biggest factors why expats moved to a new country were: for a new challenge (38%), improve quality of life (34%), improve job prospects (26%) and increase earnings (22%).
- Economic uncertainty (31%) and political uncertainty (29%), globally, were the bigger sources of concern, as opposed to economic (29%) and political (27%) climate of the host country.
- Global expats earn, on an average, 25% more than they did at home. 14% said that their income has doubled or more since moving.
- The average income for an expat in India is about $ 176,000, and in China is nearly $ 171,000.
- 20% of the expats felt immediately at home upon their arrival in a new country. This has increased from 16% in the last edition of the survey. 56% took less than a year to get acquainted and comfortable with their new life.
- 37% of all the expats own property in the country that they reside in; 32% also own property in their home country.
- Indians (47%) and Chinese (46%) hold onto properties at home in expectation of their return.
- Less than one in four (23%) of the expats have been through a repatriation process, and the biggest reason they return home is for family or personal reasons (32%); indicating that most expats do not intend to return, for work or lifestyle reasons, once they relocate.
- Only 4% admitted that they returned due to financial reasons, and even when they did return, 29% found the higher cost of living to be a big challenge.
- 36% of the expats all over the world plan to retire in their host country. This figure was particularly low for European nations (38%), and the highest for Oceania (68%).
In today’s age of global business and work, the expat explorer survey contextualizes just how diverse the global working population is, and how different their priorities are. The fact that four of the top ten cities in terms of expat salary are in Asia also shows that the distribution of the most lucrative global jobs are not concentrated in US and Europe regions only. The results provide important insights into how expats all over the world live and work, which can help employers and leaders in providing the right support and assistance to them.
You can view the global findings of the HSBC Expat Explorer Survey here.
You can also view the Indian findings of the survey here.