Best countries for expats 2018 – ranked

The best countries for expats have been ranked by InterNations as part of their annual Expat Insider survey. We take a look at the results.

There are an estimated 57 million expatriates across the globe with the term ‘expat’ no longer limited to corporate employees relocating from a company’s headquarters. Instead, more and more expats are moving overseas in search of a dream. Some have remote jobs and are now working from a location they love. InterNations’ latest survey looks at how expats’ motivations for moving are changing where they go.

Now in its fifth year, the Expat Insider survey is the largest of its kind. InterNations draws on its 3.2 million members and surveys over 18,000 expats people from 178 nationalities living in 187 countries or territories.

  • Find remote jobs at companies genuinely committed to remote working

InterNations uses its members’ answers to rank 68 destinations on how expat residents feel towards their home away from home. The survey uses 48 individual factors that influence an expat’s experience of living in a foreign country including safety and security, family life, finances, travel and transport options, ease of settling in and average working hours.

Best and the worst countries for expats

Bahrain, Taiwan and Ecuador have been ranked as the three best countries for expats in 2018. Bahrain received high scores for making expats feel at home and is popular with expat families. Taiwan, up from fourth in 2017, has been ranked second with expats citing a high quality of life thanks to affordable healthcare and good transportation infrastructure.

The best and worst expat destinations of 2018

After ranking 25th out of 65 countries in 2017, Ecuador has moved up to third in 2018. The impressive improvement is down to excellent results regarding finances, ease of settling in and expats’ work-life balance, although it should be noted a large proportion of the respondents are retirees (46%). Additionally, more than four in five expats in Ecuador (83%) rate their financial situation favourably.

While there has been change at the top of the ranking, at the bottom it’s the usual suspects. Seven out of the 10 worst-rated countries were already in the bottom 10 in 2017.

The biggest winners and losers of 2018

Kuwait is back in last place, a position it held from 2014 to 2016, while Saudi Arabia is just behind in 67th. Both countries rank poorly for ease of settling in and general satisfaction with life abroad. India continues its slide down the rankings to third worst with expats citing career prospects, general satisfaction and work and leisure negatively.

The UK continues its downward trend – after already tumbling 21 places last year – dropping to 59th place in 2018. The Brexit vote continues to concern expats and has caused a drop in the strength of the pound. The country now ranks as one of the worst countries for expats.

The best countries for expats Ranking 2018

Participants were asked to assess up to 48 factors concerning various aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The mean values were then calculated to create the below ranking of the best countries for expats.

RANKCOUNTRY
1Bahrain
2Taiwan
3Ecuador
4Mexico
5Singapore
6Portugal
7Costa Rica
8Spain
9Colombia
10Czech Rep.
11New Zealand
12Australia
13Panama
14Vietnam
15Luxembourg
16Netherlands
17Malaysia
18Thailand
19Canada
20Malta
21Bulgaria
22Israel
23Finland
24Austria
25Norway
26Uganda
27Estonia
28Philippines
29Belgium
30Cyprus
31Oman
32Morocco
33Chile
34France
35Denmark
36Germany
37Romania
38Qatar
39Poland
40UAE
41South Korea
42Japan
43Ireland
44Switzerland
45Hungary
46Sweden
47USA
48Dominican Rep.
49Kazakhstan
50Indonesia
51Kenya
52South Africa
53Myanmar
54Russia
55China
56Hong Kong
57Serbia
58Argentina
59UK
60Greece
61Italy
62Peru
63Egypt
64Turkey
65Brazil
66India
67Saudi Arabia
68Kuwait
Lead image: Dreamstime

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