The 30 Best Countries For Expats

Moving to a new country is tough. It often means needing to find new friends, working in a new environment, and settling into a totally new way of life.

That’s why InterNations, the world’s largest network for expats, has compiled the top 30 countries for getting a good job, making friends, and raising a family.

The ranking is based on interviews with more than 18,000 expats living in 68 countries around the world.

30. Cyprus

beach boulders cave cliff
Expats love the warm weather and local culture, and say is easy to settle in. However, many are worried about their job security and career opportunities.

29. Belgium

Expats are happy with job security and quality of education. However, many respondents weren’t happy with their social life and personal safety here.

28. The Philippines

high rise building at golden hour
According to expats, the Phillipines is an affordable country and the locals are friendly. However, the country performed badly in terms of personal safety, transportation infrastructure, and the weather.

27. Estonia

Estonia is a great place to raise children due to the affordability and quality of childcare and education, according to respondents. People here also said they were happy with their career opportunities. However, many expats said it was hard to settle in, with only half of them saying locals were friendly.

26. Uganda

Expats find it particularly easy to settle down in Uganda, and where they say the local population is friendly to foreigners. However, the country ranked poorly in terms of personal and political safety.

25. Norway

Most expats are happy with their job security, and reportedly work fewer hours than the global average. Although most respondents said they make more money than they would back home, their income still doesn’t seem to be enough: Many lamented the high cost of living in this country.

24. Austria

architecture austria building church
The economy is good, and education and childcare are good and affordable in Austria, according to respondents. However, many expats said they struggled to find friends and to master the local language here.

23. Finland

Finland ranked highly in terms of expats’ safety and security, and quality of life. People here also said they were able to maintain healthy lifestyles. Male expats said they settled in easier and had a better time at work here, while females said they had more trouble with both.

22. Israel

panoramic view of hedge and raw houses across large body of water
Expat parents were the most pleased with the availability of leisure activities and healthcare for kids, and locals’ attitudes for families. However, respondents said it was expensive to live here. Some also worried about ongoing issues with safety and security in the region.

21. Bulgaria

A country that appears to attract more British expats than the rest of the world, according to InterNations. Almost all the respondents said life was affordable here. However, many complained of the relatively poor quality of medical care, and state of the local economy.

20. Malta

Expats say they have good control over their finances, with some even saying that their disposable income was more than enough to cover living expenses. But this seems to come at a price: Nearly one in five expats say it’s hard to access the internet at home and paying without cash.

19. Canada

Most expats appreciate its political stability and ease of accessing government services online, and where they want to stay forever. However, many respondents said they had trouble with personal finances.

18. Thailand

ancient architecture asia buddhism
Expats living here appear to be particularly happy, which isn’t surprising: Many of them moved there for a better quality of life or for retirement. However, many respondents said they were worried about the country’s political stability.

17. Malaysia

view of cityscape against sky
The cost of living in Malaysia is low, and expats are happy with their financial situation. Respondents also said it was easy to live here without speaking any of the country’s local languages, like Bahasa. However, people said they were worried about their personal safety here.

16. The Netherlands

Expats are mostly happy with the work-balance, and say they work fewer hours than the rest of the world. They also say the country is a great place to travel from. However, many say it’s hard to find friends here.

15. Luxembourg

Luxembourg ranked first among expats in terms of peacefulness, political stability, and the state of the local economy. Most respondents said it was expensive to live here, though

14. Vietnam

The vast majority of expats said they earned more than enough to cover household expenses, were satisfied with career prospects, and work-life balance. However, expats also complained of poor transportation and available leisure activities around the country.

13. Panama

Most expats said they had a good handle on their financial situation, and that they were happy with their lives in general.

12. Australia

man walking towards body of water holding a surfboard
Most expats said they had a good work-life balance, although many still say it’s expensive.

11. New Zealand

green island in the middle of the lake during daytime
New Zealand is a popular expat destination, particularly for people from English-speaking countries like the UK, South Africa, and the US. Expats said the country was great for working abroad and for family life, but said it was expensive.

10. Czech Republic

Expats living here said they liked being able to travel around the country and Europe. Parents also said childcare and education were affordable here. However, many respondents said it was hard to make local friends, and that the language barrier was a problem.

9. Colombia

Most people said their household income was enough or more than enough to cover the cost of everyday expenses. More than 9 in 10 expats here also said locals were generally friendly toward foreigners here.

8. Spain

aerial photography of city
Expats said they were particularly happy with the weather, quality of healthcare, and ability to make friends. However, less than half respondents said they were worried about their job security and the state of the country’s economy.

7. Costa Rica

Expats find it easy to settle down and to find leisure activities outside of work. However, more than 3 in 10 respondents said they felt negatively about their career prospects.

6. Portugal

Almost all the expats living here said they liked the local climate, ability to settle, and atmosphere for raising children. However, expats here reported being unhappy with their career opportunities.

5. Singapore

Expats reported being happy with job prospects and personal safety when they’re out and about. However, many people said it was expensive to live here.

4. Mexico

ancient architecture backlit building
Expats here are the happiest compared to those in other countries, according to InterNations. Respondents also said the locals were the friendliest in the world. However, many parents living here said they were concerned about their children’s safety.

3. Ecuador

Expats said it is easy to make friends in Ecuador and said they could have a higher quality of living.

2. Taiwan

photo of people in the temple
Expats said healthcare was high-quality and affordable, and where they could get around safely. While respondents reported being able to find friends relatively easily, many said it was hard to learn the local language, Chinese.
  1. Bahrain
81% of respondents said it was easy to get used to the local culture, and seven in ten expats said they were happy with career opportunities and job security. Many expat parents said education there wasn’t cheap, though.

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