Best countries for expats 2017 – 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 chosen remote jobs and are now working from a location they love. This latest survey looks at how expats’ motivations for moving are changing where they go.

Now in its fourth year, the Expat Insider survey is the largest of its kind. InterNations draws on its 2.8 million members and surveys over 12,500 people from 166 nationalities living in 188 countries or territories.

  • Find remote jobs at companies genuinely committed to remote working

InterNations uses its members’ answers to rank 65 destinations on how expat residents feel towards their home away home. The survey uses 40 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, Costa Rica and Mexico have been ranked as the three best countries for expats in 2017. Bahrain received high scores for making expats feel at home and is popular with expat families. Costa Rica has been ranked second with expats citing a high quality of life thanks to a warm welcome and tranquil lifestyle.

The best and worst expat destinations of 2017

Mexico continues to remain a popular expat destination (it’s been ranked in the top five every year), receiving praise for its a low cost of living and ease of settling in.

While there has been a lot of change at the top of the ranking, at the bottom it’s the usual suspects. Ongoing financial problems in Greece mean it is ranked as the worst country for expats.

The UK has dropped 21 places since Brexit

Kuwait was ranked worst last year and makes a slight improvement, but the quality of expats’ life still remains low. The same can be said for Nigeria where expats are also concerned about their quality of life alongside issues with transport, healthcare, safety and security.

Spare a thought for the United Kingdom which has tumbled 21 places in a year. The Brexit vote has caused a lot of uncertainty among expats as well as causing a slide in the strength of the pound. The country now ranks 54th
 out of 65.

The best countries for expats Ranking 2017

The Expat Insider survey was conducted by InterNations during February and March 2017. Participants were asked to assess up to 43 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
2Costa Rica
3Mexico
4Taiwan
5Portugal
6New Zealand
7Malta
8Colombia
9Singapore
10Spain
11Czech Republic
12Vietnam
13Netherlands
14Luxembourg
15Malaysia
16Canada
17Oman
18Thailand
19Romania
20Norway
21Finland
22Sweden
23Germany
24Cambodia
25Ecuador
26UAE
27Switzerland
28Austria
29Philippines
30Denmark
31South Korea
32Belgium
33Cyprus
34Australia
35Kazakhstan
36Panama
37Kenya
38France
39Hong Kong
40Japan
41Hungary
42South Africa
43USA
44Israel
45Ireland
46Uganda
47Peru
48Myanmar
49Poland
50Russia
51Chile
52Argentina
53Indonesia
54United Kingdom
55China
56Turkey
57India
58Qatar
59Ukraine
60Italy
61Saudi Arabia
62Brazil
63Nigeria
64Kuwait
65Greece

You can download the full Expat Insider report here.

Lead image: Dreamstime