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This is one reason why Thailand is so popular with expats: Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic dives during the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Krabi, Thailand, last week. i i

This is one reason why Thailand is so popular with expats: Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic dives during the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Krabi, Thailand, last week. Dean Treml/Red Bull/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Dean Treml/Red Bull/Getty Images
This is one reason why Thailand is so popular with expats: Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic dives during the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Krabi, Thailand, last week.

This is one reason why Thailand is so popular with expats: Michal Navratil of the Czech Republic dives during the 2013 Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series in Krabi, Thailand, last week.

Dean Treml/Red Bull/Getty Images

Thinking of living and working abroad for the experience? For those already doing it, Asia seems to be the preferred destination.

The HSBC 2013 Expat Survey asked 7,000 expatriates in 100 countries to rate nations on three factors: economics, experience and raising children.

China topped the list, followed by Germany, Singapore, Cayman Islands and Australia. The U.S. was No. 12.

But on experience alone, which includes lifestyle and culture, Asia dominated. Six of the top 10 countries on the list were Asian. Thailand was No. 1, followed by Bahrain and China. The U.S. was 23rd.

Switzerland topped the economics list, followed by China, Qatar, Thailand and the Cayman Islands. Again, six Asian nations made the top 10, as did Germany and Turkey. The U.S., again, was 23rd.

But based solely on raising children, Asian countries did not do as well. Germany topped the list, while the U.S. finished 12th.

Here are some key takeaways:

— Relatively cheap housing, transportation, food, clothes and health care make Southeast Asia the most attractive region for expatriates. For instance, 22 percent of expats in Indonesia surveyed earned more than $250,000; the cost of living in the country is low.

— Taxes and the cost of public transport in Europe are high, driving up the cost of living.

Switzerland and Germany buck the general economic pessimism in Europe.

Asia is the only region where expats who've relocated say they have a better social life than at home.

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