Mexico – According to a poll released Tuesday, Taiwan, Mexico and Costa Rica were ranked as the best places to live and work abroad in 2021. Survey participants based their decision on the cost of living , ease of installation and overall quality of life.
Taiwan tops the rankings for the third year in a row in a survey of 12,420 expatriates by InterNations, a Munich-based expat network with around 4 million members. Expats appreciated Taiwan’s medical care in addition to the quality of life.
Ninety-six percent of respondents were satisfied with the quality of care compared to 71 percent globally. Expats also said they were more satisfied with their job security in Taiwan and the state of the local economy than their peers elsewhere.
Health was, of course, of particular concern to expats this year. InterNations measured the role COVID-19 has played in the lives of expats, but its findings related to the pandemic have not influenced the overall ranking of locations. Globally, 45% of those polled said the pandemic had some influence on their time abroad or on their plans to go abroad.
Expats ranked Mexico and Costa Rica second and third respectively. Both received high marks for settling in, which can be a difficult transition abroad. Kuwait, Russia and Japan scored particularly low in this area.
In Kuwait, 46% of expats said they did not feel at home in the local culture and 51% struggled to find new friends. In Japan, only 45% said they felt comfortable with the local culture, while in Russia, 48% of expats said it was difficult to live in the country without speaking the language.
Ninety-one percent of expats described Costa Rica’s population as “generally friendly”. Four in five expats in Mexico said they were happy with their financial situation, while 84% of expats in Costa Rica said family disposable income was “enough or more than enough” to cover all of their expenses.
Kuwait, Italy and South Africa were at the bottom of the list. Kuwait came last for the seventh time in eight years, scoring poorly in terms of quality of life. Some expats noted its lack of leisure options.
In Italy, 30% of expats say they are dissatisfied with their financial situation, while expats in South Africa gave the country low scores on job security and happiness with the state of the local economy .
The United States ranks 34th out of 59 places, largely due to the way expats perceive the quality of life in the United States. The United States scored low on quality of life and cost of living.
Expats reported aversion to certain parts of the healthcare system, with only 20% being happy with its affordability and 19% saying the quality of care was negative. This compares to a global average of 14% rating their care negatively.