Updated: Oct 26
Discover the latest edition of the InterNations Expat Insider Study 2022 and learn where to live your best life abroad.
Do you dream about living abroad or already have concrete moving plans? Whether you are actively looking for a job abroad, you are recruited internationally or you are moving for love, the most important thing is to not only look at your dream country through rose-colored glasses, but to properly do your homework before you go!
Take a detailed look into all possible countries on your list, use your network to talk to other expats already living your future life, and thoroughly evaluate all pros and cons per country to avoid disappointment. This short article will give you great insights into the top countries for expats worldwide, as well as places that should probably be avoided.
Now let's jump in and check out the Top 10 expat destinations 2022:
THE 10 BEST EXPAT DESTINATIONS:
#1:Mexico- ease of settling in
91% of Mexico’s expats are happy with their life in Mexico, which is a pretty strong number. On the positive side they point out their good personal and the overall ease of settling in. In addition, they appreciate how friendly the locals are (90% vs. 66% globally) and how easy it is to make friends among them (75% vs. 42% globally).
Concerning the ‘Expat essential’ index (#11) (Admin topics, Housing, Language) expats find it easy to get a visa to move to Mexico, while the local bureaucracy can be a pain point. In the ‘Working abroad’ and ‘Quality of life’ index, Mexico performs weaker, but still on a decent level. Expats appreciate the culinary variety and dining options, whereas they struggle with the security (#41) and air quality. Overall it is a great place to live for expats with many opportunities.
#2:Indonesia-great life on a small budget
A surprise for me personally was to find Indonesia as the second country on the list, since it didn’t show up in the Top 10 of 2021. Expats love about Indonesia how easy it is to settle in (#2) and point out their good personal finances (#3). In fact 64% say their household income is more than enough to live a good life. Indonesia also ranks well in the ‘Expat essential’ index, which is mainly driven by the language (Bahasa is easy to learn) and housing, which is easy to find und very affordable. The main downside expats see in Indonesia is ‘Quality of life’ (#41), they are struggling with medical care (28% vs 14% globally), the availability of green and organic goods (35% vs 17% globally), or the infrastructure for cars (40% vs 13% globally). All in all, 91% of expats are happy with their life in Indonesia.
"I’ve lived in Jakarta and have seen a lot more by living here, and I understand that there’s so much more to Indonesia than just Bali and Jakarta.” – Tony Fernandes
#3:Taiwan-safety and financial stability
Taiwan ranks best in ‘Quality of Life’ (#2). Expats appreciate the affordable health care (100% vs. 61% globally) and they generally feel safe (98% vs. 81% globally). Taiwan also ranks among the top 10 for the ‘Ease of Settling In’ (6th) and ‘Personal Finance’ (8th) indices. In terms of ‘working abroad’ Taiwan lands in the middle tier (#22) due the lack of flexibility and creativity (41% vs. 26%) in the local business culture. Overall, 76% of expats are happy with their life in Taiwan.
After all these good news, let's check out the more challenging countries for expats:
THE 10 BOTTOM EXPAT DESTINATIONS:
#1 Kuwait - struggle to find friends
Kuwait ranks last in the Expat Insider 2022 survey overall and it is rated lowest in ‘Quality of Life’ and ‘Ease of Settling In’ (#52). For instance, expats are unhappy with the natural environment (65% vs. 8% globally) and feel that they cannot openly express their opinions (57% vs. 18% globally). They also describe the local residents as unfriendly and hard to make friends with them (44% vs. 17% globally). Additionally expats are unhappy with their career opportunities (39% vs. 22% globally) and their work-life balance (37% vs. 19% globally). On the positive side, 76% of expats feel that their disposable household income is enough to live a comfortable life. 37% of expats are happy with their life in Kuwait.
#2 New Zealand-high cost of living
Expats in New Zealand struggle most with their ‘Personal Finance’ (#52): they rate the general cost of living (75% vs. 35% globally) and their financial situation (30% vs. 21% globally) negatively. New Zealand has an average result in the ‘Expat Essentials’ and ‘Quality of Life’ indices (#39). This is mainly due to high transportation costs and a lack of culture and night life. On a positive note, expats love the natural environment (95% vs. 83% globally) and the opportunities for recreational sports (84% vs. 75% globally). Overall, 60% of expats are happy with their life in New Zealand.
#3 Hong kong-No room for creativity
Expats rank Hong Kong among the bottom 10 in ‘Personal Finance’ (#44), and are unhappy with the general cost of living (68% vs. 35% globally). In the ‘Working Abroad’ index Hong Kong doesn’t rank much better. 46% miss creativity in the local business culture (vs. 26% globally), but say that moving to Hong Kong has improved their career prospects.
In the ‘Quality of Life’ index Hong Kong struggles as well (#40). While the availability and affordability of public transportation is a highlight, expats feel that they cannot openly express themselves and their opinions (56% vs. 18% globally). They are also unhappy with the urban environment (33% vs. 17% globally). Overall, 56% of expats are happy with their life in Hong Kong.
WHere will you move to?
I hope you enjoyed this article about how expats perceive the countries they are living in. Which countries are you currently looking into? If you are thinking of moving abroad or you struggle establishing a successful life in a foreign country, please reach out to me here, so we can make your international move a success together. My expat coaching service has everything you need.
Also feel free to dive deeper into in the great InterNations expat insider report 2022 here.
About Expat Insider:
InterNations, probably the world's largest network for people who live and work abroad with around four million members, has published the results of the annual Expat Insider study for the ninth time. With nearly 12,000 respondents, they present a total of 177 nationalities and live in 181 countries or territories. The study provides detailed information on expats' satisfaction with quality of life, settling in, working life and personal finances in their respective country of residence.