Hazy, lazy afternoon somewhere in Spain, Source: Unsplash

Only two European countries rank among top 10 for expats

Only two European countries rank among top 10 for expats

Perhaps not surprisingly, they are both located in the sunny southern part of the continent

Global expat portal InterNations published the results of its annual survey on the livability of different countries from the point of view of foreigners living and working in them. In the overall and aggregate ranking – Best & Worst Places for Expats 2023 – the results show that only two European countries have made it to the top 10 as attractive destinations for expats.

The two countries in question are Spain and Portugal, ranked 2nd and 10th respectively. Both of these Mediterranean countries are also popular tourist destinations on their own, so it seems that they are appealing for longer-term settling as well.

A decade of surveys

The 2023 Expat Insider report was the tenth such in what has become a tradition for the social-event planning web portal that helps connect people. This year, more than 12,000 participants from 171 nationalities took part in the survey and shared their opinions about an ever-growing phenomenon of our contemporary world – living abroad.

The survey asked expats to evaluate the ease of settling in, working abroad and leisure activities in the country where they lived. In addition, they also had to grade their experiences with things like digital services, housing, bureaucracy and language barriers.

The best in the world was Mexico, however, the second-best was another Spanish-speaking country – Spain itself. The Mediterranean country has never left the top 10 of the ranking ever since the first edition came out in 2014.

The majority of expats (88%) say they feel happy with the culture and nightlife in Spain, compared to 68 per cent globally. Spain’s climate is also a strong selling point, given that it’s generally balmy all year round, though that also depends on the region.

The weaker spots of Spain are its work opportunities for foreigners and its bureaucracy.

The other European top-10 ranker, Portugal, enjoyed similar strengths and suffered from similar weaknesses vis-à-vis its Iberian neighbour.

The ease of settling in is one of the major highlights for expats in Portugal. Over three-quarters feel at home and over 80% feel welcome in the country. However, job prospects, career development and fair pay are even worse than in Spain. Nevertheless, 78% of expats living there agree that the pay is enough to lead a comfortable life.

You can check out the other countries that made it into the top 10 here.



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