Expats: Portugal, New Zealand and Canada rank in top 10 destinations for life abroad

British expats ‘left out in the cold’ by UK Government says expert

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The annual Expat Insider survey has revealed the top global destinations for expats looking to live and work abroad in 2021. Among the top 10 were Portugal, New Zealand, Australia and Canada, however, the UK did not make the cut.

More than 12,000 respondents took part in the survey to share their experience of life after relocating.

According to the survey, Taiwan took the top spot as the best destination for expats looking to live and work in a foreign country.

It was followed by Mexico, Costa Rica and Malaysia in second, third and fourth place respectively.

Portugal, which is set for “floods” of British expats in 2021 according to the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce in the UK, came in fifth place.

The top 10 list was completed with New Zealand, Australia, Ecuador, Canada, and Vietnam.

All of the countries listed in the top 10 also scored “above-average” results in the “Ease of Settling In Index”.

Mexico ranked as the easiest place for foreign arrivals to settle in, followed by Malaysia in second place and Costa Rica in third.

Moreover, half of these countries also rank among the top 10 in the “Personal Finance Index”.


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Just Taiwan and Portugal narrowly missed out on taking a top 10 spot for personal finance, coming in 11th and 14th place respectively.

New Zealand, Australia and Canada, however, were deemed as having weaker “personal finance” opportunities.

When it comes to expat life, the UK was ranked particularly low – coming in 45th out of the 59 destinations listed.

However, its best asset for foreign nationals was the opportunity for work.

The UK scored 29th place in the “Working Abroad” category and 17th place in the “Career Prospects and Satisfaction” subcategory.

Around 56 percent of those who had moved to the UK said they were “satisfied with the local career opportunities” and 55 percent said they are “satisfied with the state of the local economy”

Despite this, some respondents cited concerns over the impact of Brexit.

“Brexit has made the economy go downhill,” commented one Maltese respondent.

Similarly, a Czech respondent living in the UK said they felt there had been an “economic decline linked to Brexit”.

Many also cited dissatisfaction with the weather.

In fact, the UK landed in the bottom 10 countries where the weather was seen as a positive perk of daily life.

Around 43 percent of those who had emigrated to the UK rated the weather as having a negative impact which is 26 percentage points more than the global average.

The UK did not find itself in the bottom 10 countries for living and working, however.

According to the Expat Insider 2021 survey, the worst country for expats is Kuwait, which came in 59th place.

Italy, South Africa, Russia, Egypt, Japan, Cyprus, Turkey, India and Malta were also in the bottom 10 with Malta in 50th place and Italy in 58th.

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