Top 10 Expat Countries (According to Expats)

Are you planning to move abroad to enhance your quality of life? The process is complicated and you have several things to consider before you take the leap.

Your first and most difficult decision is to decide where you want to live. To help people who are planning their move abroad, InterNations asked 12,000 expats in 181 countries what they thought about their home away from home. So in this article you’ll learn about the top 10 expat countries for 2022 according to the people who already live abroad.

Top 10 Expat Countries

InterNations ranked the top 10 based on several factors: work opportunities, ease of settling in, quality of life, health, safety, culture, locals, climate, cost of living, and language.

As you read through these countries, keep in mind that the respondents are from a variety of demographics, including younger people who work overseas. Some of these countries may not be the best places to retire, but they may be great places to live and work.

10. Singapore

10. Singapore

Although Singapore is generally an expensive country with a high cost of living, the destination offers exceptional perks for expats. Besides being one of the cleanest locations, it offers excellent housing options. Expats can get a mortgage or rent a home; remember that property and rentals may be expensive.

The small island country of Singapore is ranked #9 on the Global Peace Index, suggesting that it is safe. According to the CEO ranking, it is  #19 on the Quality of Life Index, so you can expect a  good time living in Singapore.

What are some of the best things about expat life in Singapore? You can benefit from fantastic healthcare facilities. With the #24 ranking on the CEO Healthcare Index, Singapore offers universal healthcare- among the best in the world.

Furthermore, expats vouch for Singapore’s excellent education and reliable transport.

9. Australia

Australia has a strong economy, but the country is quite expensive. Nevertheless, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne, and Sydney make excellent expat locations.

Why? English is widely spoken throughout the country, so you do not have to worry about a language barrier. The cultural shock is also less than in many other countries, though you may feel isolated as Australia is quite far. With a #27 Global Peace Index, the country is incredibly safe for locals and expats.

Besides excellent education, Australia offers various sports and job opportunities that make it enticing for young expats. Not to mention, the quality of life is excellent in this nature lover’s paradise, with a laidback lifestyle. Furthermore, Australia is ranked #6 for healthcare, eliminating that concern.

8. Thailand

8. Thailand

Thailand’s tourism is known worldwide and it is among the world’s most visited countries. Tourists flock to the country for its rich culture, exciting history, and well-developed modern buildings. Besides attracting vacationers, Thailand offers fantastic benefits for expats.

Locations like Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Bangkok are popular with expats for several reasons. Thailand is affordable, beautiful, and safe! It ranked #38 on the Quality of Life Index 2021 and #103 on the Global Peace Index.

Besides having a low cost of living and crime rate, Thailand boasts stunning mountain ranges and beaches. What else? The country offers excellent healthcare, ranking #13 on CEO Healthcare Index. Not to forget, Thai cuisine is loved among expats.

7. Vietnam

7. Vietnam

It may not be as popular a country, but Vietnam is great for expats looking to move abroad. Whether you are a young individual or a retiree with kids, this country will not disappoint.

Vietnam has a sizeable expat community of close to 100k. However, more expats are choosing it, thanks to the excellent advantages. While it has a lot to offer, the low cost of living in the growing economy should be compelling enough. The best part is that you can find incredible luxury rentals at super-affordable rates.

What else? Vietnam has an exceptionally low crime rate- ranked #44 on Global Peace Index. It is generally safe, so you can rest assured that residing in the country will not risk your family’s safety. Vietnam’s healthcare is also reasonably good; it ranks #66 on CEO Healthcare Index.

6. United Arab Emirates- UAE

6. United Arab Emirates- UAE

The United Arab Emirates comprises seven emirates, with Dubai and Abu Dhabi being the most popular. It is among the top expat locations regarding the diverse people in the UAE expat community.

No income tax policy and a wide range of job opportunities are the primary reasons expats prefer the UAE. Although the cost of living is high in these emirates, the incredible cities with stunning infrastructure and beaches make them worth moving in.

While Arabic is the primary language in UAE, nearly everyone, including locals and expats, speaks English as a communication medium. Most expats do not experience much of a cultural shock, though the UAE is quite conservative as it is an Islamic state.

Although extremely family-friendly, women’s rights may be restrictive. Additionally, you must dress modestly in public in all UAE, with each emirate having its laws. For instance, Sharjah bans mingling with individuals of the opposite gender unless you are married to them.

Nevertheless, UAE offers excellent education, safety, and healthcare, among other benefits. It ranks #60 on the Global Peace Index and #20 for healthcare according to CEO World.

5. Spain

Are you an expat looking to move to a country with a laid-back vibe? Spain should be your number-one choice; it offers several incredible benefits for expats!

The European country is known for its rich culture and history, modern cities with a stunning infrastructure, and beautiful natural attractions. Every year, many tourists flock to Spain to have a relaxing vacation.

That said, Spain is just as popular among expats, and rightfully so. The country is ranked high on the Quality of Life Index, coming in at #20, and it is ranked extremely high for health care; CEO World ranks it #8.  Though petty crimes may be a problem, it is a highly safe country. It ranks #29 on the Global Peace Index. Spain boasts pleasant year-round weather, with lots of sun. While it can get dry and hot during the summers, expats enjoy the warm climate.

It is affordable, with popular locations like Barcelona and Madrid comparatively expensive. While it offers many benefits, the language barrier can pose difficulty as English is not as widely spoken.

4. Portugal

Besides being a popular tourist location, Portugal is excellent for relocating. Expats love the country for its friendly environment and locals, rich culture and culture, and great food and wine. It is incredibly family-friendly; perfect for expat couples with kids.

The country is affordable and has a generally low cost of living, though the energy costs have increased in recent years. The housing options may also be a little expensive in popular expat areas.

The high rates are mainly due to the increasing demand for rentals in these locations. Therefore, you might want to avoid homes in areas like Porto and Lisbon. Coimbra, Viseu, and Braga are the more affordable options.

Additionally, Portugal has a low crime rate, ranking #6 on the Global Peace Index. Not to mention, the country offers good healthcare for its residents; it ranked #22 on CEO Healthcare Index.

3. Taiwan

3. Taiwan

InterNations ranked Taiwan third out of ten expat countries for its excellent benefits and facilities.

New Taipei City, Taoyuan, and Kaohsiung are most preferred by individuals and families looking to relocate, with Taipei topping the list. A large number of English speakers is one of the significant reasons for Taipei’s popularity among expats.

Apart from the language ease, Taiwan is known for its friendly locals who never fail to make expats feel welcomed. The locals are incredibly accepting of Westerners, so you do not need to worry about adjusting.

Taiwan is generally safe for locals, expats, and visitors, ranking #20 on the Global Peace Index. The country ranked #15 on the Quality of Life 2021 Index, thanks to the solid infrastructure, reliable transport, and affordability.

What is the best part? Taiwan ranks number #2 on Healthcare Index- promising medical help for everyone!

2. Indonesia

Interestingly, Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelago, comprising an extensive group of five major and thirty smaller islands.

Thanks to Indonesia’s excellent nightlife, stunning landscape, shopping opportunities, and rich culture, it is popular among tourists and expats. Who would want to miss the world-famous beaches and volcanoes, after all? Not to mention, Indonesia has a lot to do, you will love the exciting activities on the diverse islands!

Currently, Indonesia has a reasonably large community of 350k expats. The country is highly affordable, having an incredibly low cost of living. Jakarta is among the cheapest cities, perfect for expats. The huge cities boast a busy yet laidback lifestyle, and you will find significant cultural diversity.

Safety is not an issue in Indonesia, as it is generally pretty safe- ranked #47 on the Global Peace Index. Healthcare ranks #52 on Healthcare Index, though medical facilities are quickly improving.

UPDATE:  Indonesia just passed some restrictive laws that apply to citizens, residents, and tourists limiting personal freedoms and freedom of speech.

1. Mexico

Live Abroad MexicoInterNations ranked Mexico as the number 1 expat country for many reasons. However, the proximity to the US and the American lifestyle remain on top of the list.

While it is excellent for expats from all across the world, Mexico is particularly great for Americans looking to move abroad. The best part about relocating to Mexico from the US is the significantly low cost of living. The country is much more affordable than many parts of the US.

You can choose from multiple expat-friendly cities for relocation, including Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, Playa Del Carmen, Chapala, Merida, La Paz, and more. Mexico has a rich culture and boasts many attractions and activities. For example, you can find excellent beach destinations in the country. Not to mention, the weather is fabulous and Mexican cuisine never disappoints.

Besides, Mexico ranked #46 on the Quality of Life 2021 Index. What else? It isn’t ranked as high for safety, ranking #137 on Global Peace Index, but many areas in the country are generally safe.  And the healthcare is very good- ranked #29 on Healthcare Index.

Bottom Line

We hope the above list helped you narrow your expat destination options. You can pick one of the top ten expat countries listed by the InterNations, according to your preferences. Most options have a low cost of living and offer incredible benefits for expats.

Watch Our Video About the 10 Best Countries for Expats



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2 replies
    • JP Stonestreet
      JP Stonestreet says:

      The first step is to make sure you qualify for a residency/work visa. Each country has its own rules and requirements. Australia is not one of the easier countries to move to so it might be a challenge unless a company sponsors you.


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