Philippines a great place for expats to find love, raise kids; but not the best to live, work

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Manila, Philippines – Philippines — The Philippines is becoming a more popular expat destination in Southeast Asia, especially for those seeking a partner and finding a place to raise their children.

However, the Philippines is not the best country to live and work in, and the best-paid workers live elsewhere.

Based on results of HSBC’s 2018 Expat Explorer Survey, the Philippines was among the countries ranked at the “bottom,” sliding to the 28th spot from last year’s 17th place. Thirty-one economies qualified to the poll this year.

The survey — which polled 22,318 expats, including 300 residing in the Philippines, from 163 economies — said the Philippines’ tropical climate, emerging economy and its increasingly influential role in Asia and beyond make the nation “extremely” attractive to migrants.

64 percent of respondents found love in Philippines

Broken down, 56 percent of expats said the Philippines has brought them closer to their partner, 64 percent of whom found their significant other here.

Fifty-six percent said raising children in the Philippines is less expensive compared to their home country, while 42 percent believe the overall quality of life for their kids is better here than elsewhere.

Despite cultural differences, 69 percent of respondents said they are integrating well with the local people and feeling like they are “family” in the Philippines.

“Expats here also say that they have been welcomed by the Filipinos regardless of faith, race, gender or sexual orientation, which is not a surprise, given the Filipinos’ warmth and hospitality, and the vibrant and friendly local culture,” HSBC added.


Singapore is rated the best expat destination for the fourth year in a row, beating New Zealand, Germany, Canada and Bahrain.

But the highest expat salary is in Switzerland, where migrants earn an above global average salary of $202,900 per year. But in the overall survey, Switzerland ranked only eighth, amid higher cost of raising children and difficulty in making friends there.

In the Philippines, 56 percent of expats said they have more disposable income here and 20 percent qualified that they have less. The rest said they earn about the same as in their home country while 58 percent said they are able to save more here.

“Some may have more to save and invest but tax challenges, currency risk and different spending needs all make an expat’s money management more demanding,” HSBC said.

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