best and worst destinations for expats

The easiest and most challenging destinations for expats in 2022

Expats living in different countries around the world find some countries easy to settle in and make friends, but in other places, affordability and personal safety are big concerns. 

In this blog post, we are going to look at some of the most popular, and some of the most challenging, destinations for expats in 2022. 

The Expat Insider Survey 

This ranking comes from the Expat Insider 2022 survey, which looked at 11,970 respondents representing 177 nationalities and living in 181 countries, giving a score to destinations for expatriates living and working abroad.  

The survey covers in-depth information on expats’ satisfaction with Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, and Personal Finance in their respective countries of residence. For the first time, the 2022 ranking also includes the new Expat Essentials Index, which covers digital life, admin topics, housing, and language.  

Expats were asked to rate 56 different factors in the areas of: 

  • Personal finance  
  • Quality of life, which includes travel/transit, environment/climate, leisure options, health and well-being, and safety/security. 
  • Ease of settling in, which rates local friendliness, finding friends, and culture/welcome. 
  • Working abroad includes career prospects in the country, salary/job security, work/leisure balance, and work culture and satisfaction.  
  • Expat essentials, which addresses other issues that expats face when arriving in a new country, such as internet access, housing, language barriers and administration.  

The Ranking 

1st: Mexico
2nd: Indonesia
3rd: Taiwan
4th: Portugal
5th: Spain 

Mexico topped the 10 best destinations chart, closely followed by Indonesia in second place. Vietnam took the seventh spot, Thailand, eighth, and Singapore tenth.  

Other destinations in the top 10 were Taiwan in third place, Portugal in fourth, and Spain in fifth. UAE registered sixth and Australia ninth.  

At the foot of the table, the Expat Insider Survey identifies what it calls the ‘worst’ destinations for expatriates. The lowest scores belonged to: Kuwait (52), followed by New Zealand (51), Hong Kong (50), Cyprus (49), Luxembourg (48), Japan (47), South Africa (46), Turkey (45), Italy (44), and Malta (43).  

Kuwait, New Zealand, and Hong Kong all perform poorly in personal finances for expatriates, with Hong Kong also ranking low for the local environment. Kuwait ranks the worst destination worldwide for all factors, while expatriates in New Zealand struggle with finding work. 

While careers and personal preferences play a large role in an Expats enjoyment of a specific nation, this ranking may serve as a companion piece to aid you in choosing a new home.