World's 10 best economies for expats

  • NENDAZ, SWITZERLAND - JULY 28: A flag thrower looks on as alphorn players prepare to perform on July 28, 2013 in Nendaz, Switzerland. About 150 alphorn blowers performed together on the last day of the international Alphorn Festival of Nendaz. The Swiss folkloric wooden wind instrument was used in most mountainous regions of Europe by mountain dwellers as signal instruments. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images) Harold Cunningham

    (MoneyWatch) Thinking about moving overseas for work? You're not alone. Roughly 6.3 million Americans live and work abroad. And many extol the virtues of an expatriate life, from the thrill of travel to the benefits of developing friendships around the world.

    However, most expatriates choose to work abroad for a practical reason: money. Expats are typically paid more than those who live and work in their home country. In some cases, the cost of living in the host country is lower, too, which translates to a dramatically better standard of living.

    But the economic benefits -- as well as the overall experience -- vary markedly from country to country, according to a recent survey of more than 7,000 expatriates commissioned by HSBC. Overall, looking at everything from health care access to the cost of sending kids to school, the financial services company concluded that China was the world's top destination for expatriates. (That might seem like a curious choice given the People's Republic authoritarian regime, and it's worth noting the enormous commercial interests that HSBC, which used to be headquartered in Hong Kong, has in China.) The worst country overall for expats? Egypt.

    However, the rankings change markedly depending on what matters to you. If your main concern is economic -- pay, the economic health of your host country (and thus your ability to find a job) and disposable income -- these are the 10 best countries for expatriates, according to HSBC.