27th May 2021
The safest countries for expats have been ranked, with Finland taking the top spot. We take a look at the results of the survey
Whether for love, money, adventure or escape, moving abroad is fraught with uncertainty.
Not only are there life-changing decisions to make (Where shall I go? Will I be safe? Is this the right thing for me?), there are countless logistical problems to solve: arranging visas, securing accommodation, organising utilities and booking travel medical insurance.
To help you answer the big questions, we list below the safest countries for expats, based on InterNations’ annual Expat Insider survey.
This and our list of the world’s most expensive cities for expats should give you a well-rounded idea of where might be right for you.
One thing to remember in taking the leap is that it doesn’t have to be forever.
You can sample a place for a while and settle long-term if you like it. In fact, there is a growing number of products designed specifically for digital nomads who may move from place to place.
Identifying the safest countries
With more than 4.1 million members in 420 cities around the world, InterNations is the largest global community and a source of information for people who live and work abroad.
Now in its eighth year, the annual expat survey draws on data from a survey of over 12,000 expat respondents from across the globe. Together, they represent a total of 174 nationalities and live in 186 countries or territories around the world.
Respondents are asked to rate up to 37 factors related to various aspects of expat life on a scale of one to seven.
One of those factors is Safety & Security. Members are asked questions on how they feel about personal safety, political stability, and peacefulness in their country of residence.
Their answers are used to create three subcategory indices, which are compiled to create an overall ranking of the safest countries for expats.
The minimum sample size per country is 75 respondents making it possible to rank 59 countries by where expats feel safest.
Singapore, UAE and Denmark are second, third and fourth respectively with Oman rounding out the top five safest countries for expats.
South Africa ranks last with more than one-third of expats (34%) not considering it a peaceful country (vs. 9% globally). Furthermore, less than one in four (24%) feel safe there (vs. 84% globally).
Generally, the Gulf States are considered some of the safest countries for expats, although there is a big disparity between states such as UAE (3rd) and Qatar (9th) and the other countries in the region.
Safest countries for expats ranked
The survey data was collected from 7 to 31 January 2021. Therefore, results do not reflect any events which have occurred since.
You can access the full Expat Insider report here.
More rankings and articles can be found in our remote work area:
► Most dangerous countries in the world
► Countries with the best healthcare in the world
► World’s worst countries to drive in
► Most peaceful countries in the world
► Best countries for women
► Happiest countries in the world
► World’s most powerful passport
► Countries with the fastest internet
► Most stressed countries in the world
► Most expensive cities for expats
► World’s most democratic countries