Overall, the traditional long-term assignment accounts for around half of all international relocations. However, among small firms, the average falls lower (39% vs. 52%+). Permanent transfers seem to have gained favor over short-term/temporary assignments in firms of all sizes. The most popular duration is one to three years (59%) overall. Small firms are using longer durations (3+ years) as the standard with more similar frequency to 1-3 year assignments (39% vs. 44%) than larger firms (29%+ vs. 63%+).
Similar to 2012, international relocations originating in the United States last year most often went to Asia (32%) followed by Western Europe (24%) and the United Kingdom (22%). Intra-regional transfers occurred at similar levels in Asia, Western Europe, and the United States. Asia was the most popular destination for interregional transfers of expatriates living abroad (36%).
Most firms (79%) report differences between domestic and international policies, although the number remains near the low of the past decade and significantly below 2004 (88%). Overall, percentages for individual policy considerations are similar to last year with one exception: markedly more firms now offer allowances for children to attend certain schools (54% vs. 44%). Nearly twice as many small firms (31% vs. 16%) offer allowances, as do significantly more mid-size firms (54% vs. 40%). This year maintained increases seen last year in financial services assistance and security support programs. Compared to 2012, nearly twice as many mid-size (29% vs. 16%) and large firms (40% vs. 23%) continue to offer such assistance. While the percentage of large firms offering security support to expatriates dipped slightly from last year (32% vs. 41%), it remained significantly above 2012 (20%). Additionally, twice as many mid-size firms now offer it (19% vs. 8%) than last year.