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Career ambition is the number one reason why workers take the plunge and settle abroad, according to a new study.

The survey conducted by HSBC of more than 22,000 of its expatriate staff revealed that Germany was top of the list for those looking to further their careers during 2019, overtaking Sweden and Switzerland to be rated as the best place in the world to work overseas for the first time.

Just under two thirds of expats rate the country as the most productive place to be based, while seven out of 10 say that living there has resulted in improvements in their work/life balance. Almost three quarters of overseas workers in Germany also claimed that their feelings of job security had been enhanced as a result of the move, The HR Director reported.

In terms of the best expat pay package, Bahrain is considered the leader here, after jumping 10 places in the rankings compared with last year. Three quarters of foreign workers said their earning prospects were better there than back at home, up from 62% last year. Meanwhile, 59% of respondents indicated that working in Bahrain had helped them to become a better leader.

Third in the rankings overall was the UK. The average expat said the country had resulted in them seeing across the board gains in terms of work/life balance, career progression and earning prospects. Nearly three out of five foreign workers also described the working culture as better than that in their home country. 

In the main, the UK’s foreign workforce was found to be young, educated and ambitious, with 43% having a postgraduate degree. The study also revealed that the country was the best in the world if workers want to learn new skills and fourth best if they are keen to climb the career ladder, narrowly behind Hong Kong, the USA and Singapore.