Zurich and Geneva among world’s top five cities for expat earnings
Zurich stands out for those looking to increase their disposable income
Zurich and Geneva are among the top five cities globally for high expat earnings, according to the latest HSBC Expat Explorer survey, the world’s largest and longest-running study of expat life.
Expats in Zurich have a personal gross income of USD206,875 per annum on average,
while their Geneva-based counterparts receive USD184,942, found the study, which
is now in its tenth year and features responses from more than 27,000 expats from
159 countries and territories.
The best destination for high expat earnings globally is Mumbai, followed by San
Francisco, Zurich, Shanghai, and Geneva:
Top cities for expat earnings
Rank City Gross income per annum
1 Mumbai - USD217,165
2 San Francisco - USD207,227
3 Zurich - USD206,875
4 Shanghai - USD202,211
5 Geneva - USD184,942
Additionally, 77% of the Zurich-based expats who took part in the study report higher
disposable income than in their home country, referring to income remaining after
deduction of taxes and social security charges available to be spent or saved. This is second to no other city globally and on a par only with Doha, Qatar. Among Geneva-based expatriates, 65% report having higher disposable as a result of their relocation.
The extra income could explain why expats in Zurich and Geneva are some of the
most positive in the world about their accommodation. Over half (55%) of expats in
Zurich and 42% in Geneva are living in a better property than they did at home, despite
the relatively expensive rental and property markets in these cities.
Asked what they appreciate the most in their host city, expats in Zurich first mention
the clean and safe public spaces (68%), followed by great restaurants and the quality
of food (36%). Geneva-based expats are most appreciative of the reliable and
convenient public transport (72%) and the clean and safe public spaces (56%).
Seventy-three percent of expatriates in Zurich and 69% in Geneva feel safer and more
secure in their host city than in their home country, outperforming the global average
of less than one in two expatriates (49%) feeling safer as a result of their move.
Expat Explorer online
About the Expat Explorer survey
The Expat Explorer survey was open to adults over 18 years old currently living away
from their country of origin/home country. The survey was completed by 27,587 expats
from 159 countries and territories through an online questionnaire in March and April
2017, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by HSBC Expat. With a minimum
sample of 90 expat respondents required, 52 cities were included in the data analysis.
For more information visit: www.expat.hsbc.com.