SINGAPORE (July 16): A significant majority of Singaporeans would like to live abroad, albeit not infinitely, according to a recent study conducted by online money transfer service TransferWise.

Out of the 1,000 Singaporean citizens and PRs surveyed, 85% said they would like to live outside of Singapore. However, only 18% said they would want to leave Singapore permanently, with another 50% wanting to live abroad for up to five years.   

The top countries picked for long-term migration include Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Canada and the UK, in order of preference.

Employees in the healthcare industry ranked highest in terms of desire to move abroad at 92%, followed by Singaporeans in the technology (91%) and manufacturing (88%) industries.

In comparison, those in the government sector indicated the least desire to move abroad at 78%.

In a Monday release, TransferWise highlights that younger Singaporeans aged 15-34 appear the most keen (74%) to work remotely while travelling the world as “digital nomads” – although more than half (52%) worry about losing the freedom to move abroad due to the evolving geopolitical climate and in turn, which countries will continue to welcome them.

Two thirds (60%) of respondents worry about the loss of Singaporean talent with increasing migration, while 52% note their inability to part with their loved ones as a major obstacle to migration.

“More Singaporeans, especially the younger generation, are seeking experiences around the world for personal and professional growth. However, our research also shows that people are feeling anxiety about how they can live their life – and move their money – without being held back by physical borders,” comments TransferWise Head of Banking, Lukas May.

“Singaporeans are optimistic about a well-connected world as their vision of the future. As technology continues to make the global movement of people, money and ideas easier, we expect the future landscape of work and life will accelerate in this direction of a more open world,” he adds.