Boomerang Expats Just Can’t Stay Away From Home

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However much they hate to admit it, most expats just can’t stay away from home for too long, according to new data.

More than half of all expats (52%) have returned home for an extended stay, while a fifth (19%) have gone through the process at least twice.

Family issues were cited as the main reason for coming home by a third of expats.

But certain countries seem to attract expats who are happy to put down roots and stay for the long term, the survey by HSBC Bank’s Expat Explorer found.

Nearly two-thirds of Singapore’s expats (65%) have never looked back, while 58% of those in Jersey and 56% in Malaysia have yet to return to their homelands as well.

Home thoughts from abroad

But although expats enjoy their new lives, they also struggle to entirely cut their ties with the countries where they were born.

A third keep a house or flat in the place they regard as their first home. Getting on for six out of 10 explained they still owned the home because they plan to return there at some time in the future.

When asked about the best places to live, Switzerland came out on top.

Expats explained they earned much more and had enhanced job prospects in Switzerland than anywhere else and that they were confident the country had a strong economy and is politically stable.

Two thirds of expats in Germany had a similar opinion.

Best places for families and lifestyle

Other places praised by expats included New Zealand, Spain and Portugal.

Around 60% of expats enjoyed their quality of life in New Zealand and three out of four found the country friendly and integration with locals easy.

Another 60% of expats in Spain and Portugal agreed they had a healthier lifestyle compared to the global average of 36%.

The best places to raise a family were The Netherlands and Sweden, where expats found childcare was good and easy to access.

Other countries liked by expats included United Arab Emirates, where earnings and lifestyles were often improved and India, where many expats found the pace of life easy going and the country a good place to progress careers.

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