Living abroad isn’t always easy, but some nations make the transition a smooth one. Expats in these top 10 countries score high across the key categories of work, quality of life and personal finance. Whether you dream of a sun-soaked beach lifestyle in Thailand or prefer to immerse yourself in the local culture in Mexico, these are the best places for expats to find their niche and thrive.
In 2023, Thailand was the best performer in the Quality of Life category and ranked third overall, with high scores for cost of living and friendliness. Its popularity also stems from the booming tech and business sectors that are attracting young professionals to this Southeast Asian nation. It also offers a diverse cuisine and affordable housing options.
The runner-up in the Quality of Life category, Spain boasts excellent scores for leisure options and culture. Its popularity is not surprising, as it has been a top destination for expats since the survey began in 2014. The country is a cultural melting pot with numerous cities offering everything from Moorish architecture to Spanish flamenco. There are also plenty of beaches and mountains for those who like to get active in nature.
3. Costa Rica
This Central American utopia is renowned for its natural beauty and biodiversity, with volcanoes, cloud forests and wildlife such as sloths, capuchin monkeys and toucans dotted throughout the country. It is also home to a thriving expat community, with many of them choosing to live in the capital of San Jose for its convenience and easy access to a range of work opportunities. Expats in this beautiful country also appreciate its affordability, with Costa Rica ranking fifth for the ease of settling in and personal finances categories.
With its easy-going and friendly people, it’s no wonder Panama is a top destination for expats. It placed highly in the Ease of Settling In and Culture & Welcome subcategories and is known for its vibrant social scene, including frequent expat events. Expats in this dynamic and diverse country also report a good quality of life, with a healthy work-life balance and the ability to quickly make new friends.
A well-rounded choice for expats, Canada offers a high standard of living and a wide variety of working opportunities in both urban and rural areas. Its cities are rich in cultural heritage and offer a modern dining, shopping and entertainment scene. In addition, it is a popular destination for American expats who seek affordable education and healthcare as well as a safe environment.
This Alpine country is a favourite for career-oriented expats, with its robust economic growth and competitive wages. In addition, it provides a high level of satisfaction with their jobs and great public healthcare services. It is also a great place for those with children, as it ranks sixth in the Family Life Index.
While it is not the easiest place for expats to settle in, this country makes up for this with its strong performance in the Quality of Life and Personal Finance categories. It is also a popular choice for digital nomads due to its flexible visa rules and cheap cost of living. Best countries in the world for expat