World's 10 unfriendliest countries for expats revealed

List includes Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Switzerland 

Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith
Tuesday 30 August 2016 12:33 BST
The World's 10 Unfriendliest Countries

The world’s 10 most unfriendly countries for ex-pats have been revealed, with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the Czech Republic topping the list.

The Expat Insider, an annual survey conducted by InterNations, revealed the best and worst places for expats to live in 2016, based on a number of factors including the quality of life, safety and the ease of settling in.

As part of the ‘ease of settling in category’ was the ranking for friendliness that expats felt from the local population, which includes factors such as how easy it is to get used to local cultures, and make new friends, in addition to how friendly locals are to expat families and how much of a barrier the language creates.

Among the 10 most unfriendly destinations were European countries Denmark, Switzerland and Norway. In Switzerland, 36 per cent of expats said the attitude towards foreign residents is generally bad, while just over half of people find the local culture hard to get used to despite the generally high quality of life.

Just outside the worst 10 countries for expats were Germany and France, ranking in 55th and 56th place respectively in an overall list of 67 countries. In France, only 14 per cent of expats said they were happy with the general friendliness of the population compared to the global average of 26 per cent, while in Germany 49 per cent of expats said they found it difficult to socialise with locals and find German friends, siting the language as one of the barriers.

The countries that topped the friendliness list were Mexico, Costa Rica and Uganda, while Greece and Cyprus made huge leaps up the list due to residents’ friendliness towards locals and expats’ ability to make friends.

The top destinations for expats to live in overall were named as Taiwan, Malta and Equador due to the quality of life, personal finance indices and the quality of the healthcare, while Qatar, Italy and Tanzania were ranked as the worst countries for expats to live in.

The UK ranked in 33rdnd place overall, where the job security is highly valued and the friendliness towards ex-pat families is noted, but the general cost of living is considered high – only four per cent of expats felt their disposable income was more than enough to cover their daily needs.

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