Sun. Jun 4th, 2023

In the wake of the overruling of Roe v. Wade, there’s been a massive surge in interest in how to move out of the US. But wondering where to move out of the US? Time to consult the experts. Every year, InterNations—the world’s largest expat community—polls expats around the globe to find out the best and worst places to live.

InterNations recently revealed its Expat Insider 2022, which ranks countries by analyzing factors such as work life, the quality of living and the local cost of living. The best destination to live as an expat in 2022? Mexico is the winner, with 91% of expats saying they are happy with their life in Mexico.

Drilling down, Mexico ranks first for the ease of settling in and second for personal finance. But there are some drawbacks. “Safety is probably the biggest issue,” says InterNations founder Malte Zeeck. Among expat women, Mexico ranks 33rd out of 36 destinations for personal safety, while it comes 40th out of 43 places for the male respondents.

Mexico is followed by Indonesia at number two and Taiwan at number three. Indonesia ranks high because your money goes a long way. “Close to two in three expats (64%) say that their disposable household income is more than enough to lead a comfortable life,” says Zeeck. Taiwan ranks high for being safe and financially stable.

At the other end of the scale is Kuwait—the worst country to live—followed by New Zealand and Hong Kong. The United States also fares poorly on the list: As the 14th worst country to live, it ranks below places like Bahrain (at number 15), Brazil (number 16) and Russia (number 17). According to the report, expats love the career prospects and work culture in the United States but worry about the affordability of healthcare.

Zeeck says that the company was surprised that New Zealand performed so badly in the 2022 ranking. “The general results are due to the fact that expats in New Zealand struggle the most with their personal finances: They rate the general cost of living and their financial situation negatively,” says Zeeck. “It might also play a role that 32% do not feel paid fairly for their work (vs. 20% globally).”

In addition, the survey ranks the best countries for women expats to live and work abroad. The ratings compare how expat women rate their everyday life abroad based on a subjective score. But a note that the vast field of political issues—such as questions of censorship, human rights or reproductive rights—is not explored in the survey.

Coming in at the top of the list of the best places for women to live is Mexico, followed by Spain and the UAE. “Mexico is a favorite destination among expat women for very similar reasons to those given by male survey respondents,” says Zeeck. Among the female participants, Mexico ranks in the global top five in three out of the five topical indices that the ranking is based on: ease of settling in (first), personal finance (second) and expat essentials (fourth).

In the ease of settling in index, Mexico actually places first worldwide for nearly every single rating factor among expat women. “For example, 70% of women living abroad in Mexico are happy with their social life (vs. 52% of all women globally) and 86% report having a personal support network there, compared to just 59% worldwide,” says Zeeck. Expat women also appreciate Mexico for its affordability.

At the bottom of the list for women expats is Japan, which ranks last, due to ease of settling in, language barriers (“without good language skills, it is always harder to fully immerse yourself in the local culture and find friends”), personal career options, work-life balance and the cost of living. However, in one aspect Japan is the opposite of Mexico. “It does very well for personal safety,” says Zeeck.

Read on for the lists of the world’s best and worst places to live, overall, and the world’s best and worst places for women expats to live. You can also view the complete list here.

The World’s 1o Best Places to Live

  1. Mexico
  2. Indonesia
  3. Taiwan
  4. Portugal
  5. Spain
  6. UAE
  7. Vietnam
  8. Thailand
  9. Australia
  10. Singapore

The World’s 20 Worst Places to Live

  1. Kuwait
  2. New Zealand
  3. Hong Kong
  4. Cyprus
  5. Luxembourg
  6. Japan
  7. South Africa
  8. Turkey
  9. Italy
  10. Malta
  11. Estonia
  12. Oman
  13. Kenya
  14. USA
  15. Bahrain
  16. Brazil
  17. Russia
  18. Malaysia
  19. Switzerland
  20. Czechia

The World’s 1o Best Places for Women to Live

  1. Mexico
  2. Spain
  3. UAE
  4. Singapore
  5. Portugal
  6. Qatar
  7. Thailand
  8. Poland
  9. Australia
  10. United States

The World’s 1o Worst Places for Women to Live

  1. Japan
  2. Hong Kong
  3. Luxembourg
  4. New Zealand
  5. South Africa
  6. Malta
  7. Cyprus
  8. Sweden
  9. Germany
  10. Italy


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