Europe is no longer the leader for attracting global expats who are looking to relocate from their home countries. While you can still find some Northern European countries at the top of the list, the top spot goes to a small country on the other side of the world: Ecuador.
Northern Europe and Switzerland used to lead the pack, being the favourites for expats from around the world thanks to quality of life and quality healthcare programs. But this year the top spot for global expats goes to Ecuador, according to the 2014 InterNations Expat Insider Survey.
Ecuador came in first place in the personal finance and cost of living indexes, it also ranked the highest for ease of making friends (an important factor when you uproot and move across the globe). 82% of expats surveyed said they found it easy to settle down and feel at home in Ecuador. The country also ranked at the top of the list for personal happiness and almost half of the expats surveyed said they’d like to “stay forever.”
It turns out that living in an English-speaking country doesn’t hinder expats, with many saying that it was easy to learn Spanish and English is spoken commonly enough to get by at the beginning.
Ecuador is followed by Luxembourg, Mexico, Switzerland and the U.S. Luxembourg and Switzerland ranked highest for quality of life and working abroad, while Mexico ranked the highest for ease of settling in. It comes as so surprise that Switzerland is home to two of the most expensive cities for expats.
Top 10 countries for global expats
- Hong Kong
How did the UK fare in this survey as a destination for expats? Well not too badly; the biggest downfall for quality of life was the climate (surprise!). Most of the expats in the UK are from Germany, the U.S, and France and moved here to find better jobs. And how good the life here for an expat? 44% said they were totally satisfied with life here in the UK.