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Highest paying cities

Many expatriates opt for job opportunities in other countries in exchange for a more lucrative lifestyle and to improve their overall experience, and this is particularly true for the younger among them. HSBC’s annual survey of 25,000 expats around the world released details on where the best places in the world currently are for expatriates in search of a higher income, to relocate to. Here at Santa Fe, we’re taking a closer look at these results.

Geneva, Switzerland

It is unsurprising to see Switzerland on the list of highest paying cities of expats. Lying at the southern tip of Lac Leman with dramatic scenery and exceptional views of Mont Blanc, Geneva offers expatriates exceptional lifestyle opportunities. As the base of many European headquarters, including the United Nations, World Health Organisation and the Red Cross, Geneva’s well-established network provides numerous job opportunities for expats to consider. The main challenge in Geneva, however, is the competitive nature of the city’s limited housing supply, resulting in many expats actually living in France and commuting across the border. Nonetheless, Geneva remains a popular option for many competitive expatriates looking for a high standard of living with an equally as high income.

The mean income for Geneva sits at $184,942.

Shanghai, China

As one of China’s most influential cities, Shanghai offers expatriates a fusion of the East and West. With a culturally-rich atmosphere, a variety of activities to provide respite after working hours and a plethora of public transportation makes navigating the city simple, Shanghai offers more than what many cities in the West do not. However, Shanghai can become frustrating for those who struggle with both language and ideological barriers, and culture shock is a likely fate for many expats. Nevertheless, the high income could prove to be comforting and expat communities in Shanghai are often very welcoming.

The mean income for Shanghai sits at $202,211.

Zurich, Switzerland

As a financial engine, Zurich acts as Switzerland’s banking capital, making it an unsurprising addition to the list of highest paying cities for expats. Consistently ranking as one of the best cities in the world to live, with the Mercer Quality Of Living Ranking 2018 positioning Zurich as #2 just behind Vienna, Zurich is a popular destination for many expatriates working in the financial industry. Shortage of accommodation is a key challenge here, as it is in Geneva, however many corporate relocation packages will have a residence in place for expatriates.

The mean income for Zurich sits at $206,875.

San Francisco, California

Home to Silicon Valley, San Francisco offers a number of job opportunities which are in high demand amongst tech enthusiasts. While Silicon Valley is now used as a synecdoche for the high-technology economic sector across America, obtaining a role in this area offers a number of benefits – including a significantly high income. Alongside Silicon Valley, San Francisco Bay also remains an attractive location for visionaries and entrepreneurs and continues to maintain itself as a forward-thinking city. A key reason for the high wages, however, alongside being a result of the booming tech industry, is due to the high cost of living in the city.

The mean income for San Francisco sits at $207,227.

Mumbai, India

The main reason for expats in Mumbai earning more than many across the globe tends to be a result of older or more experienced workers opting for employment opportunities in the city. HSBC’s survey explained that 54% of Mumbai’s expat workforce is aged 35-54, compared to the global average of 45%. As a result, Mumbai’s expat community often consists of top managerial positions, including CEO and COO of companies, which ultimately warps the world’s average. India is also considered to be harder to adapt to than more developed countries, meaning some expats are compensated with a ‘hardship’ allowance which can cover educational fees, club memberships, premium healthcare packages and more. In the event that this allowance is unavailable, many wages will cover what would have traditionally been included in this package.

The mean income for Mumbai sits at $217,165

If you are considering relocating to any of the cities listed above or would like some advice on international relocation to another part of the world, get in touch with a member of our team today.

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