Travel | July 12, 2022 12:18 pm

The World’s Best Place for Expats Is in North America

The annual Expat Insider survey from InterNations particularly loved one country, but it's not the United States

An aerial view of Mexico City. Mexico is the best place for expats globally to live, according to a new survey by InterNations.
The best place for expats is in North America, but it's not the U.S.
Alexis Tostado / Unsplash

Mexico is the best place for expats to move, according to the annual Expat Insider survey from InterNations, the world’s largest expat community. And surprisingly, the charming and well-loved island nation of New Zealand is one of the worst.

Nearly 12,000 of InterNations’ four million members responded to the survey, representing 177 nationalities and 181 countries. The final 52 destinations included are evaluated in the categories Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad and Personal Finance, as well as (for the first time) the Expat Essentials Index, which covers “digital life, admin topics, housing and language.”

Note: This InterNations list offers a global perspective. This is not a survey catering to only former United States residents (the U.S. finished 14th).

The Best and Worst Places for Expats in 2022
The Best and Worst Places for Expats in 2022
InterNations

Mexico finished first because it did well pretty much across all categories, primarily Personal Finance (2nd) and Ease of Settling In (1st), as well as several subcategories (like local friendliness and finding friends). And 64% of expats found it easy to get a visa in order to move to Mexico (vs. 56% globally). The only subcategory Mexico did poorly in was local air quality. Overall, 91% of expats surveyed were happy with their move to Mexico.

Some other interesting findings:

  • Mexico (1st), Indonesia (2nd) and Taiwan (3rd) all ranked high in the Ease of Settling In and Personal Finance indices.
  • The bottom three, Kuwait (52nd), New Zealand (51st) and Hong Kong (50th), all performed poorly in terms of Personal Finance for expats. Kuwait ranked among the worst destinations worldwide for all factors, while expats in New Zealand struggle with their careers and in Hong Kong they’re unhappy with the local environment.
  • The United States did well when it came to financial opportunity, culture and making friends, but suffered with low ratings due to affordability and availability of public transportation, along with personal safety and affordable health care, where the country came in dead last.