These Are the Places Ranked Best for Expats in 2021
Taiwan, Mexico and Costa Rica have been ranked as the top spots to live and work abroad in 2021, based on their cost of living, ease of settling in and overall quality of life.
The U.S. was ranked only 34th out of 59 places, largely because of how expats viewed quality of life in America, according to a new survey published Tuesday.
Taiwan topped the charts for the third year in a row in the survey of 12,420 expats conducted by InterNations, a Munich-based expat network with about 4 million members. Expats appreciated Taiwan’s medical care, on top of quality of life. A full 96% of respondents were happy with the quality of care, compared with 71% globally. Expats also reported they were more satisfied with their job security in Taiwan and state of the local economy than their peers in other locales.
Health was, of course, of particular concern for expats this year. InterNations measured the role Covid-19 has played in the lives of expats, but its pandemic-related findings did not influence locations’ overall rankings. Globally, 45% of respondents said the pandemic had some influence on their time abroad or plans to go abroad.
Expats ranked Mexico and Costa Rica second and third. Both earned high marks for getting settled, which can be a difficult transition in other countries. Kuwait, Russia and Japan scored particularly low in this category. In Kuwait, 46% of expats said they did not feel at home in the local culture and 51% had difficulty finding new friends. In Japan, only 45% said they felt at home with the local culture. And in Russia, 48% of expats said it was difficult to live in the country’s cities without speaking the local language.
Some 85% of respondents said it was easy to get settled down in Mexico, while 91% of expats described Costa Rica’s population as “generally friendly.” Four in five expats in Mexico said they were satisfied with their financial situations, and 84% of expats in Costa Rica said their disposable household income was “enough or more than enough” to cover all their expenses.