As expats move across the globe in search of new adventures, some countries are attracting them with top scores on a range of metrics. These include quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, personal finance and the Expat Essentials Index (including housing, language, administration and digital access). Whether you're looking for the best place to raise your family or for a well-rounded work-life balance, these countries are ranked as some of the best in the world to be an expat.
Spain tops the list for quality of life, while Portugal takes the top spot for ease of settling in. Both offer excellent public healthcare and affordable cost of living. Expats in Spain are most satisfied with their leisure options and are happy to find it easy to make friends with locals. In addition to sun-soaked beaches and a sophisticated culture, the country is also home to some of Europe's lowest crime rates.
Meanwhile, in Portugal, the average salary goes far when compared to the rest of the world. Moreover, the country offers excellent international schools and self-employment visas for entrepreneurs and freelancers who aren't interested in finding a traditional office job. As a result, the country ranks highly for both work-life balance and fun.
Thailand is another top performing nation for overall satisfaction, with the majority of expats saying it's easy to settle in and feel welcomed by the local people. It's also a great destination to live and work for those on a budget, with many expats rating the cost of living as extremely reasonable. In terms of amenities, expats love the variety of restaurants and recreational activities on offer.
Switzerland has a lot to offer expats, including a high level of education, generous financial packages and low taxes. However, the small alpine country struggles to score in some categories. Expats in Kuwait, on the other hand, are disappointed with the availability of travel opportunities and the friendliness of locals.
Despite Mexico's poor performance on the Quality of Life subcategory, it shines in some areas. For example, expats are especially pleased with the country's affordability and convenience when it comes to healthcare. Moreover, 90 percent of expats in Mexico say that it's easy to get around the city on foot or with a bicycle.
Despite its poor showing on the Quality of Life subcategory, Panama still manages to impress expats with its friendly locals and affordable lifestyle. The country is especially popular among families who benefit from excellent childcare facilities and a well-developed international school system. Additionally, a number of cities and neighborhoods are renowned for their nightlife and recreational sports. Lastly, the capital city of Panama City is also becoming increasingly popular for its urban charm.Best countries in the world for expat