The Best & Worst Destinations for Expats in 2022

Mexico, Indonesia, and Taiwan are the best places to live abroad in, according to findings in the Expat Insider survey.

Global expat community InterNations conducts one of the biggest annual surveys on life abroad, Expat Insider.

In 2022, close to 12,000 expats representing 177 nationalities took part. Covering key areas such as working abroad, the ease of settling in, quality of life, personal finances, and expat essentials, the findings are a must-read for anyone interested in living abroad.

The Czech Republic ranked 20th, losing five places during the year. Expats praised the country for its high-quality working conditions, good career prospects and ample opportunities for a fulfilling family life.

Respondents particularly praised the relatively low cost of raising a child, as well as the quality and accessibility of education.

However, in the category “Ease of Integration”, the republic scored poorly – 42nd place out of a possible 52.

The Winners

Mexico was rated the best country for expats in 2022. Expats particularly appreciate their Personal Finances (2nd) and the Ease of Settling In (1st). “Mexicans are very friendly people and eager to help when you have a problem,” states an expat from Armenia. In fact, three-quarters of respondents (75%) agree that it easy to make friends, compared to just 42% of expats worldwide.

The country also only narrowly misses out on a top 10 spot in the Expat Essentials Index (11th). While the local bureaucracy can be a struggle (53% negative ratings vs. 39% globally) and administrative services are not readily available online (33% unhappy vs. 21% globally), expats at least find it easy to get a visa in order to move to Mexico (64% vs. 56% globally).

Still, 91% of expats are generally happy with their life in Mexico.

In the second place, Indonesia (2nd) finds its biggest strengths in the Ease of Settling In (2nd) and Personal Finance (3rd) Indices. Expats are happy with the general cost of living (73% vs. 45% globally) and agree that their disposable household income is more than enough to lead a comfortable life (64% vs. 45% globally). Housing in Indonesia is also easy to afford (74% vs. 39% globally) and to find (84% vs. 54% globally), though the country performs less well when it comes to Admin Topics (30th), including the local bureaucracy (57% unhappy vs. 39% globally).

Taiwan (3rd) is no stranger among the best expat destinations. In 2022, it receives its best results in the Quality of Life Index (2nd), where it is only beaten by Spain. Taiwan ranks first in the Health & Well-Being Subcategory and even first for all the contributing factors. Expats find, for example, healthcare both affordable (100% vs. 61% globally) and widely available (98% vs. 73% globally). Further highlights about life in Taiwan include Travel & Transit (7th) and Leisure Options (16th).

The Worst-Ranked Destinations

Ranking last overall, Kuwait finds itself in the bottom 10 of each index and even ranks last in the Quality of Life and Ease of Settling In Indices (52nd out of 52, respectively). Expats are unhappy with their social life (50% vs. 26% globally) and perceive the local residents as unfriendly (44% vs. 17% globally).

While expats love the recreational sports opportunities (84% vs. 75% globally) and natural environment (95% vs. 83% globally) in New Zealand, the island state cannot escape the bottom 3 overall (51st). In large part, this is due to its abysmal performance in the Personal Finance Index (52nd): three-quarters of expats (75%) rate the local cost of living negatively (vs. 35% globally)!

Similar to New Zealand, Hong Kong also owes its rank in the bottom 3 (50th) in large part to expats’ dissatisfaction with their Personal Finances (44th). Close to double the global average giving the local cost of living a negative rating (68% vs. 35% globally). And while they are rather happy with the affordability of public transportation (93% satisfied vs. 70% globally), the same cannot be said for housing costs (89% unhappy vs. 43% globally).

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