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Top 10 Best Countries to Live in for Expats

Best countries to live in for expats

Best countries to live in for expats

People from all over the world choose to migrate to other countries for reasons ranging from job security and salary to lifestyle and culture. In 2017 there were 56.8 million expats living abroad. This number accounted for 0.77 % of the world's total population. If you're thinking of making the move abroad, consider the benefits of relocating to one of the 10 countries listed below.



1. Taiwan

According to the 2019 Expat Insider survey, the East Asian country Taiwan is the best landing place for expats. The reason behind this is the high quality, low-cost lifestyle and excellent working life. It has also been rated the happiest country in East Asia.

Economical healthcare is the biggest attraction of the country, with an 89% satisfaction rate among citizens. The semi-tropical island is the home of over 50,000 immigrants and foreigners. Despite having tough primary languages (Mandarin and Cantonese), 87% of the expats find Taiwanese locals quite friendly in nature.

Food and drink in Taiwan are so convenient and economical—so much so that almost anyone can afford and access them. Taiwanese tea is well known for its quality.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Taiwan

  • Taipei
  • Taroko Gorge
  • Alishan
  • East Taiwan
  • Sun Moon Lake

2. Vietnam

Vietnam is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia, and its colorful culture attracts expats from all over the world.

In InterNation's Working Abroad index, Vietnam jumped from the 35th position in 2015 to the 12th in 2016 and has ultimately replaced Bahrain as the #1 country for working abroad. The country also tops the table in the career prospects and satisfaction index, while named sixth in the work and leisure index.

Research says that the Vietnamese are ranked number one in making friends and that most of the expats find a very favorable working environment there. So, if job opportunities and career prospects are your reasons for moving, you should consider Vietnam.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Vietnam

  • Ho Chi Minh City
  • Hanoi
  • Da Lat
  • Da Nang
  • Nha Trang
  • Vung Tau


3. Switzerland

According to HSBC’s Expat Global Report 2019, Switzerland has been named the best destination for expatriate workers. The economy and lifestyle of Switzerland are highly desirable. In an HSBC survey, 82% of expats claim that their lifestyles improved after they moved. The beautiful scenery in Switzerland makes the country a well-known destination throughout the world. Whether it's summer or winter, there is a lot to enjoy.

If earning a lot is your purpose, consider Switzerland, as the country boasts the second-highest wages in the world. Possible reasons behind the country's high salaries could include the costs of accommodation and healthcare.

The country was ranked number one in political stability by Expat Insider. In an HSBC Expat survey, 18,059 expatriates from 63 different countries named Switzerland as the best place for learning and education.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Switzerland

  • Zurich
  • Geneva
  • Bern
  • Winterthur
  • Lausanne and Basel

4. Spain

Expats from different parts of the globe make up 14% of Spain’s population. It is thought to be a great destination for expats seeking a rewarding social life, as the locals there tend quite friendly in nature while interacting with folks from elsewhere in the world.

Spain also boasts one of the highest life expectancies in the world at an average of around 82.5 years, which speaks to the quality of healthcare and medical facilities of the country. Expats might face challenges finding jobs, but knowing Spanish could help you get hired. More than 70% of immigrants claim that they love Spain's culture and enjoy immersing themselves in it. HSBC ranked the country third in terms of culture.

Houses and apartments are available at relatively affordable rates, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find a new home. The weather is mild and enjoyable throughout the year, and delectable food and wine are ubiquitous. Traditional Spanish culture and a large expat community make Spain an alluring destination.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Spain

  • Barcelona
  • Madrid
  • Valencia
  • Granada
  • Sevilla
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5. Singapore

Singapore is widely known for its quality of life and great economic opportunities. Career-driven expats, especially those with children and family, often choose to relocate to Singapore. The country is ranked 12th in career prospects and 8th in economics and job security. Singapore has also been ranked by Expat Insider as the number one country in personal safety and fourth in political stability.

When you meet a local in Singapore, they will greet you with "Have you eaten" instead of "How are you," which shows how important food is there. Expats claim the diverse cuisine of Singapore is one of the most attractive parts of staying there.About 76% of expats in Singapore praise the clean and cheap transportation infrastructure available in the country.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Singapore

  • Tiong Bahru
  • Holland Village
  • Tanjong Pagar
  • Sentosa
  • Geylang
  • East Coast
  • Woodlands

6. Australia

With the lowest population density on this list (3.29 person /sq. km), high living standards, and a clean atmosphere, Australia could be one of the best picks for expats. The official language, English, makes it easy for people overseas to communicate and conduct business. The cost of living in Australia is high, but salaries are, too. The minimum wage is around USD 14.19.

Most of the expats there admit that the reason behind choosing Australia over other countries is its fantastic weather. Throughout the whole year, you have endless outdoor activities and sports events to enjoy in the beautiful scenery and landscape. A relaxed attitude and accepting approach are what expats find interesting about Aussies. The country provides some of the most effective and safe healthcare to its citizens. However, the high cost of healthcare bothers over 27% of expats there.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Australia

  • Adelaide
  • Brisbane
  • Canberra
  • Hobart
  • Melbourne
  • Perth
  • Sydney


7. Canada

“I enjoy the peace, stability, inclusion, and diversity in Canada” US expat about Canada. The country has been ranked 6th in political stability and 7th in personal safety in the Expat Insider 2019. Almost 74% expats are generally happy with the standard of education provided in Canada and more than 64% say it’s affordable too.

Despite being the second coldest country in the world natives know the joy of winter with snow all over the ground. Amazing wildlife, glorious summer, and underground malls in the cold grab the attention of immigrants. The country could be the best stop regarding family life and career opportunities but salaries might be troublesome. Over 81% of expats give positive remarks about Canadian nature towards foreign residents.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Canada

  • Vancouver
  • Toronto
  • Montreal
  • Calgary
  • Ottawa
  • Victoria
  • Edmonton

8. United Arab Emirates

Salaries in the Emirates are tax-free, isn’t it a huge benefit. People generally move here in search of a high-quality lifestyle, career progression, and job opportunities. The employment rate is high in every field or industry. By the way, the cost of living in some of the cities like Abu Dhabi and Dubai is quite high in comparison. The country has a significant expat community with almost 50% of the total population. HSBC Expats Survey puts UAE at 2nd in income and 5th in quality of life.

Summers are too hot in the daytime with over 50 degrees Celsius and drops to 15 in the evening. Dubai has the best shopping malls in the world if you have your wallet full.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

  • Mirdif
  • Downtown
  • Media City
  • Al Barsha
  • Dubai Marina
  • Yas Island
  • Al Reem Island
  • Saadiyat Island
  • Khalifa City
  • The Corniche
Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, Germany

9. Germany

In the Expat Insider survey of 64 countries, Germany grabs the fourth position in the working abroad index and 3rd in job security. People looking for careers and jobs often choose Germany. 93% of expats believe that the country has a stable economy. Competitive income and financial situation are the best benefits expats get in Germany. In the survey, 61% of expats claim that their income increased since they moved.

Around 89% of expat parents are satisfied with their child’s health and education. Regarding education, the country stands worldwide at seventh in quality and eighth in cost. Learning the German language haunts most of the expats as 54% of them say it’s tough to stay in Germany without knowing the local dialect. Thus making friends and settling in could be challenging in Germany.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in Germany

  • Berlin
  • Frankfurt
  • Munich
  • Leipzig
  • Stuttgart
  • Hamburg
  • Bremen
  • Dortmund

10. New Zealand

With a beautiful landscape, healthy environment, and digital infrastructure, New Zealand has lots of reasons to fall in love with. In the Insider survey, Expats found it easy to settle in and picked the country at 2nd position in the index. While in the overall index it is at 6th in 64 countries. 83% of expats are generally satisfied with their life in New Zealand. Survey participants generally give a favorable response regarding the work-life balance in New Zealand. An average full-time hired-hand works for 42.4 hr./week, whereas the global average is 44.9 hours. Kiwi countries also get decent ratings when it comes to family life and childcare facilities. The country is tenth best in education quality and fifth in the family life index. Being an English-speaking nation, expats find it way easy in making friends and settling.

Great Places to Live in or Visit in New Zealand\

  • Auckland
  • Wellington
  • Hamilton
  • Napier
  • Christchurch
  • Queenstown
  • Dunedin

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Pratyay Chauhan


Pratyay Chauhan (author) from India on May 28, 2021:

Thanks Thelma

Thelma Alberts from Germany on May 28, 2021:

Very informative hub. I am a Filipino expat living in Germany and I find it here good. Thanks for sharing.

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