Travel | September 5, 2019 11:12 am

This Is the Best Country for Working Abroad

A survey of expats is kind to Asia, while the U.S. falls short

This Asian country ranked high in quality of life and medical care.
Tom Ritson / Unsplash

If you’re going to work and live abroad, be wary.

And that’s just a warning to workers coming to the United States, which was ranked as the 16th most dangerous place to live in 2019, according to a new survey of expats by InterNations and Expat Insider.

If you’re looking for an overall fantastic working or living abroad experience, however, your best bet is Taiwan.

That’s all from a new report, “The Best & Worst Places for Expats in 2019,” featured over 20,000 expat participants representing 182 nationalities across 187 countries and territories (although only 64 destinations had enough responses to qualify). To rank the best and worst destinations across the globe, the survey (now in its sixth year) focused on categories including quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, family life, personal finance and cost of living.

Top Expat Destinations

Among the findings:

  • Taiwan came in first overall, as did back in 2016, although not enough expat parents responded to rank in any family categories. Health insurance and quality medical care were the biggest factors for the country’s top ranking.
  • Vietnam (2nd) made its highest appearance and came in first for finance and working abroad. It also had a significantly higher work-life balance ranking (71 percent found it satisfying, compared to 60 percent worldwide).
  • Portugal made its highest ranking (3rd), with half of that Mediterranean country’s participating expats saying they’d possibly stay in the country “forever.”
  • Kuwait came in last, while Italy came in second to the bottom overall — ranking dead last for working abroad, in the bottom 3 for personal finance and 31st (out of 36) in family life.

As for the U.S.: It ranked 49th (out of 64) in the Safety & Security subcategory, and it was also the most expensive country for expat health. However, the country did generally well in “Digital Life” (7th), leisure options (23rd) and career prospects (14th).

And that safety category might have been influenced by events at the time: As InterNations founder and co-CEO Malte Zeeck told Forbes, “The 2018 survey ran in late February / early March, not too long after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. This was widely reported about at the time and, as the survey is based on expats’ subjective opinions, it may well have affected how they rated the country at the time.”

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