These are the top 10 countries to live and work, according to 18,000 expats

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  • HSBC has ranked the best places to live in the world for expats based on living standards, career opportunities, and ability to raise a family.
  • The list is based on a survey of 18,059 expats from 163 regions.
  • Scroll down to see the top 10 countries, and why they made it.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Many people dream of moving to a different country in search of new beginnings, better job opportunities, or a fresh environment to improve their physical and mental well-being - but have no idea where to look.

That's why HSBC, one of the biggest banks in the world, asked 18,059 expats from 163 regions to pick their favorite places around the world based on living standards, career opportunities, and the ability to raise a family.

The survey, conducted by YouGov in February and March 2019, was open to all adults over 18 who are currently living away from their home countries.

Scroll down to see the top 10 countries on HSBC's list.

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10. Vietnam

10. Vietnam

Visitors and expats here said it's easy to integrate in Vietnam, and that the locals help them feel secure and welcome,

The country was also ranked 14th in the world for career prospects, job satisfaction, and work-life balance in a 2018 survey by InterNations.

However, expats in Vietnam told InterNations that transportation options were poor, and complained of a lack of available leisure activities around the country.

Read more: The 30 best countries for job satisfaction, making new friends, and raising a family, according to expats

9. United Arab Emirates

9. United Arab Emirates

The UAE is famous for not having any federal income tax, and 0% VAT tax in many other aspects of daily life.

It is an "excellent destination for the financially motivated," HSBC said, adding that many expats see their net incomes increase after moving there.

The financial perks have seen more than half of the expats interviewed have opted to extend their stay in the country, HSBC added.

8. Germany

8. Germany

Many expats say the quality of life and political stability in Germany are better than the rest of the world.

Parents also said the schooling in Germany is generally better.

7. Turkey

7. Turkey

Expats here said people are open and welcoming, and told HSBC they enjoy the cultural scene on offer.

6. Australia

6. Australia

Most expats reported feeling physically healthier after moving, and that the environment is better in Australia than back home. Many also praised the work-life balance.

However, the cost of living here can be high, InterNations reported last year.

5. New Zealand

5. New Zealand

New Zealand is a popular country for expats, particularly for those from English-speaking countries like Britain, South Africa, and the US, InterNations said last year.

A lot of people who moved to New Zealand said their quality of life has improved. According to HSBC, people who moved here were more likely to stay for over 20 years than in any other country.

4. Spain

4. Spain

The "relaxed Mediterranean lifestyle" in Spain allows expats to enjoy a good quality of life and to improve their mental well-being, HSBC said.

67% of respondents also said they have seen an improvement to their work-life balance after moving here.

3. Canada

3. Canada

Canada is one of the most welcoming countries in the world to foreign visitors, HSBC said, noting that many expats move here for the long term.

2. Singapore

2. Singapore

Singapore is the best place in the world for expat families, with many parents telling HSBC that its schooling system is better than in their home countries.

InterNations also ranked the city nation 5th best in the world for raising families, with parents praising job prospects and personal safety.

However, the cost of living can be quite high in the country, survey participants said.

Read more: Singapore and Hong Kong have overtaken the US as the most competitive economies. Here's how 25 countries rank.

1. Switzerland

1. Switzerland

A large majority of expats who moved to Switzerland told HSBC they saw an improvement in their quality of life, and that their surroundings are cleaner and safer than in their home country.

Their average salaries are also at $111,587 — far higher than the global average of $75,966 for expats.

However, this may be offset by the cost of living in some Swiss cities.

The Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Zurich and Geneva the 4th- and 5th-most expensive cities in the world this year.

Read more: These are the most expensive cities in the world in 2019

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