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These Are the Best and Worst Countries for a Expats Who Want a Fulfilling Life Abroad, According to a New Report

1689366654 Expat Destinations Best Worst

Living and working abroad can be an exciting change, but choosing the right destination is crucial for a fulfilling experience. From work opportunities to quality of life, some countries are a paradise for expats while others fall short, according to a report from abroad site, InterNations.

According to the survey, which included over 12,000 expats from 172 countries, the top destination for expats in 2023 is Mexico, which has been in the top five of the organization’s survey since its inception in 2014.

Survey participants rated 56 factors about expat life on a scale of one to seven, considering emotional topics like making friends and more “factual” aspects, like affordability of housing.

Mexico excels in indexes for “ease of settling in,” “personal finance,” and the subcategory of “local friendliness.”

Spain came in at No. 2 and ranked high in “quality of life,” particularly for “leisure options” and “culture and welcome,” followed by Panama at No. 3, which ranked at the top in the “finding friends” subcategory.

Related: The 10 Cheapest Countries Where You Can Buy Citizenship or Residency For as Low as $19,000

Other destinations, however, don’t exactly measure up.

Kuwait, Norway, and Turkey were the least favored destinations for expats, facing challenges in various categories. Kuwait came in last, which particularly low rankings for “quality of life,” with Norway the second least favorite, rating low for “personal finance,” followed by Turkey, where expats report low ratings in the “working abroad index.”

It’s important to note that the motivation to make an international move varies, so someone’s prime location may not be suited for someone else. Of the thousands of expats surveyed, 15% of respondents moved abroad because they found a job in the country “on their own.” Ten percent moved because they were recruited internationally, and 10% moved to live in their partner’s home country.

While Mexico was No. 1 overall, it actually ranked 26 out of 53 on the “quality of life” index, mostly due to low ratings in the subcategories of “safety and security” and “environment and climate.” And while Norway was second to last, it ranked higher than Mexico in the subcategories of “safety and security” and “environment and climate.”

So, if you’re thinking about making the international jump, consider what your priorities are before deciding on a destination.

Here are the top five best and worst countries to work and live abroad, according to the report, as well as where they rank out of 53 in categories of quality of life, ease in settling in, working abroad, and personal finance.

Top Five Expat Destinations:

1. Mexico

Quality of life: 26

Ease of settling in: 1

Working abroad: 22

Personal finance: 2

2. Spain

Quality of life: 1

Ease of settling in: 12

Working abroad: 34

Personal finance: 13

3. Panama

Quality of life: 28

Ease of settling in: 4

Working abroad: 30

Personal finance: 8

4. Malaysia

Quality of life ranking: 29

Ease of settling in: 15

Working abroad: 31

Personal finance: 5

5. Taiwan

Quality of life: 2

Ease of settling in 17

Working abroad: 9

Personal finance: 11

Bottom Five Expat Destinations:

1. Kuwait

Quality of life: 53

Ease of settling in: 53

Working abroad: 48

Personal finance: 38

2. Norway

Quality of life: 31

Ease of settling in: 48

Working abroad: 18

Personal finance: 52

3. Turkey

Quality of life: 39

Ease of settling in: 27

Working abroad: 53

Personal finance: 34

4. South Korea

Quality of life: 17

Ease of settling in: 49

Working abroad: 46

Personal finance: 37

5. Germany

Quality of life: 18

Ease of settling in: 50

Working abroad: 15

Personal finance: 28

You can see the full list, here.

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