10 nations with best quality of life for expats

Peter Terlato 9 September 2017 NEWS

Lisbon Portugal large

Portugal preferred over Taiwan, Spain and Singapore.

New data reveals expatriates living abroad enjoy soaking up the sun, swimming in the sea and sipping fortified wine; ranking Portugal, on the west coast of the Iberian Peninsula, as having the best quality of life.

InterNations' Expat Insider 2017 surveyed expats around the world about leisure, travel and transport, health and well-being, safety and security and personal happiness to determine the destination most ideal to live.

The survey consisted of responses from around 13,000 individuals across 188 countries or territories.

Taipei's capital Taiwan, last year's winner, ranked second overall in 2017. Portugal's border-sharing Mediterranean neighbor, Spain, finished in third place, followed by Singapore and the Czech Republic.

Portugal's ranking history has been unusually volatile, coming 13th in 2014, 5th in 2015, and 14th in 2016.

The report attributes Portugal's favorable rating, largely to its temperate climate and widely available leisure activities. The country ranked second in the survey's leisure options subcategory. Not one negative comment was made about Portugal's climate. In fact, 90% of expats listed the region's weather as a benefit of relocating.

Portugal was also recognised for its excellent affordability and healthcare quality, as well as the quality of its natural environment, which left a lasting impression on the overwhelming majority (94%) of expats.

A similar proportion of expats (94%) were satisfied with the travel opportunities available in Portugal. However, there were a small percentage of respondents (9%) disappointed with the country's transport infrastructure.

Taiwan was highly-regarded for its "convenience", "efficiency" and "easy transportation". However, the report noted the quality of its environment is considered average, suffering from the side effects of industrialization.

Compared to 2016, Austria, Japan, and Costa Rica lost ground in the rankings, but remain in the global top 10.

Australia didn't make the top 10 quality of life expat rankings but finished 7th for leisure activity options.

Expat Quality of Life Ranking:

RankQuality of LifeLeisure OptionsPersonal HappinessTravel & TransportHealth & Well-beingSafety & Security
1PortugalSpainMexicoSingaporeTaiwanSwitzerland
2TaiwanPortugalBahrainHong KongAustriaNorway
3SpainMexicoPortugalSwitzerlandDenmarkSingapore
4SingaporeSouth AfricaCosta RicaCzech RepSwedenJapan
5Czech RepCosta RicaColombiaGermanyFinlandLuxembourg
6JapanColombiaSpainTaiwanGermanyUAE
7AustriaAustraliaMaltaNetherlandsJapanCanada
8SwitzerlandMaltaPhilippinesAustriaNorwayFinland
9Costa RicaNew ZealandVietnamJapan PortugalOman
10GermanyEcuadorNew ZealandSouth KoreaCosta RicaDenmark

Moving abroad can be complicated enough, but getting cash to your new overseas home or back to Australia doesn’t need to be stressful. Compare all your bank transfer options using our comprehensive guide.

Expats have mixed feelings about Australia. Here's a list of what they love and hate about moving down under.

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