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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

The Top Expat Destinations for 2019

While winner Taiwan is not new to the top 3 and ranked first in 2016 as well, Portugal (3rd) and especially Vietnam (2nd) have reached new heights in the global expat ranking.


For a country to be listed in any of the indices and in the overall ranking, a sample size of at least 75 survey participants per destination is required. The only exception to this rule is the Family Life Index, where a sample size of at least 40 respondents raising children abroad is necessary. In 2019, 64 and 36 destinations, respectively, met these requirements. However, in many countries the sample size exceeded 75 or even 100 participants by far.

For the rankings themselves, participants were asked to rate up to 48 different factors concerning various aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasizes the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these factors and considered both emotional topics (e.g. friendliness of the local population) as well as more factual aspects (e.g. affordability of healthcare) with equal weight. The ratings of the individual factors were bundled in a total of 17 subcategories, and their mean values were used to draw up five topical indices.

The five indices, as well as the responses to the question “How satisfied are you with life abroad in general?”, were then averaged to arrive at the overall country ranking. The additional Cost of Living Index, while providing some insight into expats’ perception of living expenses in their current home, does not factor into the overall ranking.

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