Professionals: Where they go and why?

Published 6 days ago and global research agency, Kantar have teamed up to explore the reasons why people want to move abroad in 2019. In this article, we will reveal where professionals want to emigrate to in 2019 and why.

Professionals, including senior managers and middle managers, made up approximately 38% of our sample of 4762 participants. Of the 4762 participants, 17.9% were professionals who were planning to settle abroad and 15.7% were professionals who had already moved abroad. Overall, professionals who were already abroad were mainly found in Saudi Arabia, China and Canada.

Overall, these expats list career opportunities as the number one reason for moving abroad. Amongst the main reasons, professionals also mention better salaries and looking for better quality of life.

Regarding professionals looking to settle abroad, the reasons remain pretty much the same although there are a few changes in the countries expats-to-be want to move to. Here are the countries that expats-to-be have listed and the reasons why.


Canada is overwhelmingly the first country where professionals want to settle. Professionals list career opportunities as the number one reason why they want to move to Canada. The second and third reason expats-to-be have a penchant for Canada are respectively, a better quality of life and to ensure a brighter future for their children.


Spain was the second most popular country amongst professionals planning on settling abroad. Right after Canada, however, most respondents had not yet chosen a single country where they would like to settle down in. Spain did not appear amongst the countries chosen for career opportunities. However, it was the second best country according to expats for pleasant climate, seventh best for better quality of life and ninth best for good salaries.


Vietnam seems to be a rising star in terms of expat destination for professionals. Indeed, the country ranks third most popular country amongst professionals who want to settle abroad well before China and Saudi Arabia which were popular countries amongst respondents who already live abroad. Vietnam comes in at third place on the ranking of countries where career opportunities are the best after Canada and Dubai. Amongst expats, Vietnam is the ninth country for career opportunities, second for good pay packages for expats, third for good quality of life and third for pleasantness of its climate.

United States

It is no surprise that the United States is in the top five of the most popular countries for professionals. What is surprising, however, is that the country is not present in the top 10 countries for career opportunities. It seems that expats-to-be do not view the USA as the eldorado for jobs as previous generation of expats seemed to think. Indeed, professionals already abroad listed the USA fourth for career opportunities and tenth for pleasant climate. The country cannot be found on the rankings for good salaries or quality of life.