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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

Who’s Earning What and Where?

Nigeria has the highest percentage of top-income expats, Argentina the lowest. The highest-earning expats are between 41 and 50 years old.

Our survey participants were asked to tell us their gross annual household income. This was a purely optional question, but about 73% of the surveyed expats chose to answer it. With the help of the results, we can pinpoint trends in the distribution of income groups among the general survey population.

Among the survey participants who answered this question, almost a quarter (23%) fall into the lowest income group (less than USD 25,000 per year). Another quarter (22%) earn an annual income of between USD 25,000-50,000. The majority (52%) make between USD 50,000-250,000 per year. Only 3% of respondents say that their household earnings are over USD 250,000 per annum.

Argentina is the country with the highest portion of expat households (49%) with a yearly income in the lowest income bracket (USD 25,000 or less). Greece (43%), Uganda (41%), Malaysia (38%), and Egypt (38%) also have high percentages of low-income expat households.

The country with the highest percentage of households that fall within the highest income group (more than USD 250,000 per year) is Nigeria, with 12%. This African country is followed by Russia (11%), Kazakhstan (11%), Switzerland (9%), and Malaysia (9%). Interestingly, Malaysia has some of the highest-earning and lowest-earning expat households in our survey.

When we look at different age groups, the 41-50-year olds are the strongest in terms of gross household income. This group has the lowest percentages in the under USD 25,000 per year income bracket (15%) and the one with USD 25,000-50,000 per year (17%). It also has the highest portion of expats (38%) with an annual household income of USD 100,000 or more.

As might be expected, in the other demographic groups the trend shows that expats are earning more as they get older, with the exception of the over 51 age group, which contains many retirees. Still, a third of the expats over 51 (33%) have a yearly household income of USD 100,000 or more. Only 18% earn less than USD 25,000 per year.

Expat Incomes

Expat Incomes
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