Photo: InterNations

Survey Reveals the Best and Worst Expat Destinations of 2019

by Eben Diskin Dec 3, 2019

Moving abroad is a common dream for many, but to make sure the ambition never turns into a nightmare, the most important consideration is selecting the perfect destination.

To help you make an educated choice, this report from InterNations uses survey data from 20,259 participants to show the top countries for expats in 2019. It uses criteria such as quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, family life, personal finance, and cost of living.

Perhaps surprisingly, the top 10 destinations for expats are all over the map. Taiwan ranked number one, scoring highly on quality of life, personal finance, working life, ease of settling in, and affordability of healthcare. Indeed, job satisfaction and an above-average economy boosted Taiwan to the top spot, despite its relatively low ranking for “ease of settling in” due to language barriers.

Other countries ranking in the top 10 include:

  • Vietnam
  • Portugal
  • Mexico
  • Spain
  • Singapore
  • Bahrain
  • Ecuador
  • Malaysia
  • The Czeck Republic

The results are pretty evenly spread throughout the world, with five continents represented. Vietnam owes its number two ranking to its perceived friendliness and being a place where making local friends is considered relatively easy.

The bottom 10 hold some surprises, as well. Kuwait was ranked the worst place for expats due to its poor quality of life, work-life balance, and difficulty finding a decent job.

Sharing the bottom 10 with Kuwait are:

  • Italy
  • Nigeria
  • Brazil
  • Turkey
  • India
  • The UK
  • Greece
  • Russia
  • South Korea

The UK, Italy, and South Korea, are potentially surprising selections for the bottom 10. Italy might be on many Americans’ list for the ultimate expat destination, but it actually rates quite low for quality of life, career prospects, personal finance, and the economy.

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