Hong Kong Still Most Popular among Expats, Singapore Starting to Catch Up

Despite the ballooning cost of living which recent surveys have suggested of Hong Kong, not to mention some of the living conditions of its residents, among other issues, the Chinese administrative region still remains to be popular among expats for a number of things.

And as we all know, no place in the world can possibly have it all – or is perfect in that sense. Therefore, as individuals who make informed choices, we always have to weigh in the good with the bad.

Hong Kong Still Most Popular among Expats, Singapore Starting to Catch Up
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Expats Still Find Hong Kong Most Attractive, Singapore Next in Line

Recent liveability surveys have noted Hong Kong getting lower ratings, due mainly to the increasing cost of living. However, many expat professionals still come here to see that for themselves, as shared in a report by Emigrate UK.

According to the island’s Immigration Department (ImmD), there has been a notable 30% increase in the recorded number of work visas issued in the last five years, which indicates how the city remains quite attractive to foreign nationals despite of cost considerations such as the eye-popping rental charges and next to impossible weekly shopping bills.

Part of the reason for this is the attractive salary packages, especially for expats used to Western pay structures, and the exotic lifestyle mainly due to the city’s proximity to China, which most expats to this day find mysterious and fascinating. Another plus is the huge opportunity to travel various Asian destinations for short stays. But a major setback for health-conscious expats is the increasingly poor air quality and an increase in the frequencies of ever more powerful typhoons in recent years.

And where working hours can get just as seriously demanding, with 12-hour days as the norm and up to ten hours in professions such as teaching, needless to say – stress is a risk. Even so, the attractiveness of good pay is alluring enough in itself, and so many forego the risk it entails of working long hours.

Also, with a recent survey pointing out that Asian expats find Hong Kong increasingly unliveable. A number of them and their Western counterparts are now moving to Singapore, for its more ‘liveable conditions’ and better access to Southeast Asian countries, not to mention its reputation as a ‘safe zone’ and more reasonable costs of healthcare as compared to Western rates.

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