10 countries where you can earn more as an expat than you would at home

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.

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. 


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