Recent poll conducted by global network for expats InterNations indicated that while majority expats in China rated the country’s job prospects as favourable, quality of life seems to turn the expats off.
Polled 13,000 people in 188 countries across the globe, the survey crowned Bahrain, Costa Rica and Mexico as the top three nations preferred by the world’s millions of expatriates, replacing Taiwan, Malta and Ecuador from the position last year.
The average age of expat respondents in China was 40.5, with 63 percent of them was categorised in a relationship. However, there is no exact information on how many foreign residents on the mainland took part in the survey.
According to the survey, nearly 70 percent of foreign residents in China said they were happy with their current career. About three-quarters rated the country’s economic opportunity as favourable, compared to a global average of 56 percent.
Israeli Eli Beck, founder of EDB-China, is one among expats who feels very satisfied with their career on the mainland. He said that China is developing fast, which means that there are plenty of job opportunities. “Thirty per cent of Chinese people can be considered as middle class. That means an accumulated large number of potential customers for any product,” he added.
However, despite good job prospects, the survey this year only ranked China in the 55th place out of 65 countries mainly owing to poor performance in quality of life, ease of settling in, as well as family life. Additionally, poor medical services and educational options available for expats children were also among the top complaints. This ranking represents a drop from last year’s survey, where China was ranked 48th out of 67 countries.
As many as 85 percent of expats in China were unhappy with the environment, which represents sharp gap compared to global average rate of 23 percent. According to InterNations, this plunge is caused by the fact that most expats in China living in big cities such as Beijing, where pollution tends to be worse.
Meanwhile, China’s low ranking in the family life index – 40 out of 45 countries – was largely connected to the poor performance in health care services for children in the country. Only 4 percent of expats parents described the service as very good. Foreign residents also complained the country’s health and medical care in general. Less than 10 percent respondents said the quality of care was very good, compared to a global average of 26 percent.
Official data noted there were more than 900,000 foreigners working in China in 2016. This figure represents sharp increase from just 10,000 in the 1980s, South China Morning Post reports.