Europe Winning the Hearts of Expats
With more than 14,000 respondents, it is one of the most extensive studies ever conducted to explore the general living situation of expatriates. And this year's top ten hold another big surprise: The Czech Republic has jumped from 22nd to 10th position out of 67 countries worldwide; along with Malta and Austria, it is now among the European top scorers.
Apart from typical expat destination Luxembourg, the most popular places for living and working abroad in 2016 are perfect for adventurers: according to InterNations, the largest global network and information site for expatriates, Ecuador, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Australia prove to be great homes for global minds.
While Taiwan has ousted two-time champion Ecuador to win this year's survey, the true winner of the Expat Insider 2016 survey is Europe: six out of the ten countries that record the highest leaps in the overall ranking are situated on this continent - apart from Finland, all of them are located in Southern and Eastern Europe. Whereas Finland's jump ahead is mainly due to its third position in the Health & Well-Being subcategory, Mediterranean nations Cyprus and Spain are praised for welcoming foreigners with open arms, with an 8th and 5th position respectively. Central and Eastern European countries Czech Republic, Romania, and Hungary, on the other hand, do especially well regarding the Working Abroad index and its Job & Career subcategory, as well as the local cost of living. In both respects, all three countries are situated in the first quartile of the global ranking.
The Asian continent is divided between Taiwan and Vietnam becoming some of the world's most popular destinations for expats, whereas at the same time many traditional destinations for expatriates are steadily losing appeal. Indonesia with Jakarta, Hong Kong, Malaysia with Kuala Lumpur, Thailand with Bangkok, and Singapore have all dropped between 9 and 20 positions since last year's report. What all these destinations have in common is the fact that expats located there are less than impressed by their work-life balance: Apart from Thailand, which just makes it to 26th position in the according subcategory, all of these countries belong the lower half of the field when it comes to balancing career and leisure.
The least popular countries for those living abroad are mostly situated in Africa and the Middle East, with Nigeria on 65th and Kuwait on 67th position at the end of the ranking scale. Financially troubled Greece remains sandwiched between the two on second-to-last position, whereas the only other European country at the very end of the ranking was able to proportionately move up slightly: Italy, rated the seventh-worst country in 2015, almost managed to get itself out of the bottom ten expat destinations in this year's country ranking. While the Asian continent gets off with a slap on the wrist, with Indonesia coming in 52nd out of 67 countries overall, the biggest loser from the American continent is Brazil, ranking 64th worldwide.