- More than 20,000 expats living in 187 countries and regions rated various aspects of their lives away from home for InterNations, an expat network based in Germany.
- They were asked questions from the cost of living, to the quality of medical care, to the ease of making local friends.
- Their answers were then weighted and calculated to rank the top 30 countries in the world for expats.
- Scroll down to see what those countries are.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Finding a new country that isn’t too expensive, is fun, and has good job prospects isn’t easy.
That’s why every year, the InterNations expat network asks people from 187 countries and regions to rate various aspects of their home away from home, from the cost of living, to the quality of medical care, to the ease of making local friends.
This year, the network interviewed more than 20,000 expats from around the world about their lives and weighted their responses to rank the top 30 countries in the world overall. Every country had a sample size of at least 40 respondents.
Scroll down to see if your country made the list.
30. Hungary — Expats say Hungary it is a great place to base themselves to travel around Europe. People also say it’s easy to socialise and find leisure activities, and that the cost of living is relatively low.
However, respondents say local Hungarians are generally unfriendly and that it’s hard to learn the local language.
29. Indonesia — In Indonesia socialising is easy and it’s not difficult to make local friends. People are generally satisfied with their work-life balance, with full-time employees working an average of 46.4 hours a week, or just over nine hours a day.
However, expats say they’re unhappy with the quality and cost of medical care here.
The country is also facing a climate threat, and is currently trying to move its capital from the sinking city of Jakarta to another island.
28. Belgium — One of the best countries in the world for raising a family because childcare and education is accessible and high-quality. People here are also happy with their job security.
Almost all respondents say it’s easy to travel in and around the region.
However, expats say they are less happy with their work-life balance and that there are not many leisure options available in the country.
Almost half of expats also say they struggle making local friends.
27. Philippines — Expats say it’s easy to make local friends and the cost of living is fairly low.
However, they say the country is environmentally unfriendly, not technologically savvy, and that transport is inaccessible.
Parent say childcare is easy to afford, but that the quality of education is relatively low.
26. Morocco — Expats in the North African nation say overwhelmingly that it is a good place for making friends and maintaining relationships. They also say locals are popular with foreigners.
Expats say the weather and climate is also great here.
However, the country is rated badly in terms of available leisure activities and quality of medical care.
25. Thailand — In Thailand, medical care is above-par and the country is family-friendly.
However, Thailand ranks badly in terms of the quality of the environment and political stability.
“There is no care for the environment,” an expat from Luxembourg said.
24. The Netherlands — A popular place for expats to work and travel around.
While almost all expats say they like the opportunities to travel while living in The Netherlands, it’s expensive.
“Travelling is insanely costly,” an Indian expat told InterNations.
Expats also say they struggle to find new friends, with just half saying it’s easy to get used to Dutch culture.
23. Estonia — Most expats in Estonia are happy with the state of the economy and their work-life balance.
However, many expats say it’s hard to learn the local language, make new friends, and get used to the local culture.
One expat from Germany said a big challenge was “increasing hostility towards foreigners” here.
22. Kazakhstan — The central Asian state is becoming an increasingly popular expat destination. People are happier with their career prospects and personal finances here, and say it’s relatively easy to get around the capital city, Nur-Sultan.
While expats appreciate the culture here, the majority of them say it’s hard to settle down.
21. Costa Rica — The majority of respondents in Costa Rica say they are generally happy with their lives, and that locals “could not be any friendlier.”
However, people say the country is getting more and more expensive to live in. Just under half of InterNations respondents said their disposable household income is more than enough to cover daily expenses, compared to 17% last year.
An increasing proportion of expats also say they’re unhappy with their job security and the state of the national economy.
20. Canada — Most expats in Canada are happy with the economy and job prospects, and say it’s a good place to raise children.
However, it’s expensive to live in some of its major cities.
The Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey ranked Vancouver the second-most expensive city to live in this year.
19. Finland — Finland is seen as a good place to raise children, and more than half respondents are happy with their job prospects and security.
However, expats say it’s hard to make new friends, likely due to the difficulties of learning the local language.
18. Qatar — People say Qatar is an easy place to settle down, and it’s easy to get used to and blend in with the local culture.
Qatar is an increasingly popular expat destination, InterNations says.
The country charges a 0% personal income tax, which survey respondents appear to enjoy.
“Here, I can save up for travelling and the future,” a Canadian expat told InterNations.
However, Qatar has tense relations with neighbour Saudi Arabia, which is trying to turn the country into an island.
17. Australia — Leisure options and quality of healthcare in the Land Down Under are top notch.
However, expats have described many aspects of daily life as “unaffordable.”
16. Colombia — Colombian locals are friendly and helpful, and the cost of living is cheap.
“The Colombians are helpful, happy, and hopeful people,” an American expat told InterNations.
However, the country is one of the worst countries in the world for peacefulness and personal safety.
15. New Zealand — Australia’s smaller cousin appears ideal for expat families, considering the high quality of childcare, education, and job working hours.
Expats also say it’s a tech-savvy nation, with 95% of respondents saying it’s easy to get around without cash.
The country has also been ranked in the top ten best countries for working women.
14. Israel — Expats in Israel are overall satisfied with their jobs and say there’s always something to do for fun.
The general cost of living is relatively high, though some expats say they still have a fairly high disposable household income.
13. Panama — Expats in Panama generally seem very happy with their jobs. People like their working hours, work-life balance, and have job security.
A majority of expats here also say they can settle down easily here.
However, many say they are unhappy with the local transportation infrastructure and availability of government services online.
12. Luxembourg — The majority of expats here feel satisfied with their career prospects and secure in their job, and say the quality of life is good.
Expats complain of the high cost of living here, though – which is unsurprising considering it’s one of the richest countries in the world. They also say it’s hard to make local friends here.
Here’s what it’s like to visit Luxembourg
11. Bulgaria — Foreigners in Bulgaria like the low cost of living and say it’s easy to blend into the local culture.
However, expats say it’s hard to break the language barrier in the country, and that they’re concerned about the local economy and political stability.
10. The Czech Republic (aka Czechia) — Expats here enjoy the opportunities to travel both within the country and outside it.
Most expats are happy with the cost of living and healthcare in the country.
However, it appears hard to settle in this country. More than a third of expats described the population as generally unfriendly, and most said it was hard to learn the local language, Czech.
9. Malaysia — Expats in Malaysia say they earn more than enough to cover their daily household needs, and that it’s easy to settle down and make new friends.
“There are many places to visit, and you will never run out of things to do,” a Philippine expat told InterNations.
However, only half of respondents said they were satisfied with their career prospects there.
8. Ecuador — Expats here are the happiest in the world, and say the cost of living is low.
“Life is just simpler and more enjoyable,” an American expat told InterNations.
However, expats don’t seem too happy with the job opportunities and satisfaction, with 31% of respondents saying they’re unhappy with their career prospects.
They also say it’s hard to navigate without cash.
7. Bahrain — Career prospects are good in Bahrain, and the environment is good for families with children, expats said.
Expats also say it’s easy to make friends and settle down without speaking the local language, Arabic.
However, many also say they are unhappy with their working hours and job security.
One Indian expat in the country complained of “the economy’s instability and the fact that there is no growth.”
6. Singapore — It’s easy to settle down and people feel safe in Singapore. Almost all respondents say they are happy with the city’s local transportation system and that it’s easy to travel around the region.
Expats in Singapore say they’re very happy with their quality of life and that it’s safe and easy to settle down.
English is widely spoken in the city state, though many locals also speak Mandarin Chinese. Many expats say it’s easy to live there without speaking the local language.
However, Singapore ranks among the most expensive countries for healthcare, education, and general cost of living.
5. Spain — Spanish healthcare is affordable and high-quality, and locals are welcoming to families with children.
People also rate Spain’s climate and availability of leisure activities as two of the country’s best features.
However, expats also say they worry about the country’s economy and career prospects.
4. Mexico — Expats say locals are friendly, and the cost and quality of childcare and education are good.
However, many respondents say they worry about the personal safety of themselves and their children in the country.
3. Portugal — Portugal’s weather is good, it’s easy to settle down, and there are plenty of options for socialising.
Expats also appreciate the relatively low cost of living in Portugal.
However, only half of respondents are positive about their career prospects and job security in the country.
2. Vietnam — Life in Vietnam is affordable and expats’ disposable income is more than enough to cover daily costs. People here are also happy with their career opportunities.
Integrating in Vietnam is easy and the locals are welcoming, a separate group of expats told HSBC earlier this year.
However, the country lags behind in terms of digital life and the quality of the environment there, respondents told InterNations.
1. Taiwan — Expats overwhelmingly praise the quality of life, affordability and quality of healthcare, safety, and career prospects in Taiwan.
In May 2019, Taiwan’s parliament also became the first in Asia to legalise same-sex marriage.
However, 52% of InterNations’ respondents say they have trouble learning the local language, Chinese.
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