In 2012, international relocations originating in the United States most often went to Asia (43%), followed by Western Europe (31%) and the United Kingdom (25%). Intra-regional transfers occurred at similar levels in Asia, Western Europe and the United States. Asia was the most popular destination for inter-regional transfers of expatriates living abroad (54%).
Overall, the most popular international relocation type remains the traditional long-term assignment; around half of all relocations fall into this category. However, among small firms, the average falls lower (36% vs. 52%+). Permanent transfers appear to have gained favor over short-term/temporary assignments, especially among small (28% vs. 13%) and mid-size (26% vs. 10%) firms. Use of short-term and permanent transfers is more equally balanced at large firms (19% vs. 16%). The most popular assignment duration is 1 to 3 years (54%) overall, but small firms are using both longer (3+ years) and short-term assignments as the standard more frequently (36% and 25%).