The country ranked 30th out of 46 countries this year, a fall of eleven places since last year’s list and also down from 25th in 2015.
According to the survey, the average income for expats in Vietnam has fallen 14.5 per cent from last year to $88,096, which is lower than the global level. Vietnamese earned $2,200 on average last year.
Although almost half of expats in Vietnam agree that the country is a good place to progress their careers and two-thirds feel confident about Vietnam’s economy, not many are happy with life here in general.
Only 28 per cent said that they enjoy a better overall quality of life, compared to the global rate of 52 per cent.
Starting their lives in Vietnam, three-quarters of expats experienced difficulties organizing bank accounts, insurance, and taxes, while more than two-thirds said they’d had problems with healthcare issues, such as seeing a local doctor or taking out insurance.
Only one-quarter of expat parents agreed that the quality of childcare in Vietnam is better than that in their home country, compared to the global average of 43 per cent, the survey found.
Only 18 per cent of expats own property in Vietnam, which is half the global average. Vietnam opened its real estate market up to foreigners in July 2015 but many people say procedures are still cumbersome and that it’s easier to register property in a Vietnamese spouse’s name, if they have one.
There are around 82,000 foreigners living and working in Vietnam. Most move to the country to find a new challenge while 28 per cent said they come to improve their quality of life.
Mr. Sabbir Ahmed, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at HSBC Vietnam, said that the survey suggests areas for improvement to make Vietnam more attractive to expats.
“It’s clear that expats expect a better early experience in organizing their finances and healthcare, as well as an advantageous environment to bring up their children,” he said in a statement.
Now in its tenth year, Expat Explorer is the world’s longest running surveys of expats. This year it questioned 27,587 expats from 159 countries and territories online in March and April.
Singapore remains the best country for expats, with Norway, New Zealand, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Sweden, Austria, and the UAE rounding out the Top 10.
The best place for making money is Switzerland, where an expat can earn $193,006 a year on average; almost double the global average.