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Expat Insider - The World Through Expat Eyes

A Short Methodology

The Expat Insider 2022 survey was conducted by InterNations, running from 1 to 28 February 2022.

The online questionnaire was promoted through the InterNations community, the company’s newsletter, and its social media profiles, but responses were not limited to InterNations members. The target audience included all kinds of expats, from foreign assignees — i.e., employees sent on a corporate assignment abroad — and international hires to self-made expats relocating for a better quality of life and a variety of other reasons.

A total of 11,970 expats participated in the survey, representing 177 nationalities and living in 181 countries or territories. The results are published in this report in the form of an overall ranking of popular expat destinations, as well as additional information on five topical indices: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Personal Finance, and Expat Essentials. For a country to be listed in any of the indices and in the overall ranking, a sample size of at least 50 survey participants per destination is required. In 2022, 52 destinations met this requirement. However, in many destinations the sample size exceeded 75 or even 100 respondents. In Germany, for example, more than 900 expats participated in the Expat Insider 2022 survey.

For the rankings themselves, survey participants were asked to rate up to 56 different factors related to various aspects of expat life on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasizes the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these factors and considers both emotional topics (e.g., making local friends) and more factual aspects (e.g., housing costs) with equal weight. The respondents’ ratings of the individual factors were bundled in various combinations for a total of 16 subcategories, and their mean values were used to draw up the five topical indices mentioned above. These five indices, as well as the responses to the question “All things considered, how happy are you with your life abroad in general?”, were then averaged to arrive at the overall country ranking.

Please also note: The ratings are supposed to compare the survey participants’ individual satisfaction with various factors, instead of comparing related facts from external sources. For example, the factor “personal safety” measures how safe expats feel in their respective destination, but it does not refer to actual crime rates provided by that country’s law enforcement authorities. The resulting ranking is not meant to be an endorsement of any specific destination. It is rather a comparison of how expats rate their everyday life abroad based on their subjective score, and the indices do not cover each and every potential aspect of living abroad. For instance, the questionnaire asked respondents to give their views on selected factors such as political stability, unrestricted online access, and the general ability to freely express themselves and their opinions. But the vast field of political issues — e.g., questions of censorship or human rights — is not explored in any depth in this survey.

All percentages have been rounded to full integral numbers. In some cases, this may lead to responses to one question adding up to either 99% or 101%, instead of 100%. These instances are simply due to rounding and are not based on erroneous data.

Further Reading