Best countries for living and working abroad

UK comes 45th out of 59 destinations

Helen Coffey
Tuesday 18 May 2021 12:09 BST
Taiwan was rated top for expats
Taiwan was rated top for expats

Taiwan has been named the best place to live and work abroad in a new survey.

The Expat Insider 2021 survey revealed the top destinations based on feedback from more than 12,000 respondents, representing 174 nationalities and living in 186 countries or territories around the world.

Published by InterNations, the report ranked 59 countries by asking expats to rate numerous aspects of life abroad which broke down into five categories: Quality of Life, Cost of Living, Personal Finance, Working Abroad and Ease of Settling In.

For a country to be featured in the overall ranking, a sample size of at least 50 survey participants per destination was necessary.

Respondents were also asked to share their experiences of the Covid-19 pandemic and how it had impacted on life in their adopted home, although this information did not influence the rankings.

Among all survey respondents, close to one in ten (9 per cent) said they had moved or planned to move home earlier than originally intended due to coronavirus – although 46 per cent of them also planned to return to their life abroad within the year.

The biggest impact of the pandemic was on respondents’ personal travel plans and social lives.

One French expat in Budapest shared: “My social life was killed by Covid-19 at the worst moment: my arrival.”

The UK didn’t perform particularly well, ranking 45th out of 59, due in part to its high cost of living.

Mexico came in second place and Costa Rica was ranked third, while Malaysia and Portugal placed fourth and fifth respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum, Kuwait came in last place, followed by Italy, South Africa, Russia and Egypt.

10 best places to live and work abroad

  • Taiwan
  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica
  • Malaysia
  • Portugal
  • New Zealand
  • Australia
  • Ecuador
  • Canada
  • Vietnam

10 worst places to live and work abroad

  • Kuwait
  • Italy
  • South Africa
  • Russia
  • Egypt
  • Japan
  • Cyprus
  • Turkey
  • India
  • Malta

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