Are you entertaining the idea of becoming one of the 9 million U.S. expats who live overseas, but wondering how welcome you’d feel in a specific country? Where your money will take you the furthest? Which countries are best for boosting your career?
BanderasNews recently reported on the release last month by InterNations.org of the results of its 4th annual Expat Insider Survey, one of the world’s largest surveys offering an in-depth analysis of expat life across the globe.
After 2016’s focus on working abroad, this year’s survey takes a closer look at the Ease of Settling In Index, which ranks the best places among 65 destinations around the world where expats feel at home, based on everything from how welcome they feel in their country of residence to how easy it is to make friends.
More than 12,500 respondents representing 166 nationalities and living in 188 countries answered a series of questions relating to their experiences living abroad. The results provide unique insights into the best and worst places for expats to live in 2017.
The top 10 favorite places for expats were (in descending order): Bahrain, Costa Rica, Mexico, Taiwan, Portugal, New Zealand, Malta, Colombia, Singapore and Spain.
Mexico: A Consistent Favorite
Ranking in the top 5 of the Expat Insider survey every year, Mexico retakes its place in the top 3 in 2017. In fact, it’s in the top 5 for three indices: Ease of Settling In, Personal Finance, and Cost of Living. One Filipino respondent summed up their experience saying “the climate is almost perfect, the people are friendly, and the food is to die for.”
Despite losing the top spot, Mexico does very well in the Ease of Settling In Index, coming in second place. One American respondent said “I like how easy it is to adapt, and the people are incredibly friendly.”
A significant number of respondents say they primarily moved to Mexico for a better quality of life (14%). Though healthcare and safety damage its overall ranking in the Quality of Life Index, it ranks first in the Personal Happiness subcategory and does well in the Leisure Options subcategory, ranking first for socializing and leisure activities.
Expats in Mexico are also happy with their financial situation. In fact, 80% considered the cost of living a potential benefit before moving. The country ranks fourth in the Personal Finance Index and second in the Cost of Living Index, and 74% of expats say they’re generally satisfied with their financial situation.
Greece, because of its financial woes, was at the bottom of the list of 65 countries. Other bottom dwellers were: Kuwait, Nigeria, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Ukraine, India & Turkey.
Interestingly, Australia, a perennial top 10 country for expats, fell to 34th place in this year’s study. But, even more interesting, the United States ranked just 43rd out of 65 countries overall, 17 places lower than in 2016.
To learn more about InterNations’ Expat Insider survey, and see more 2017 rankings, reports and infographics, please visit internations.org.