Travel

The Best Places To Live Abroad, According To Expats

Expats say this is where work life, finances and personal happiness peak.
09/08/2017 11:57am ET | Updated September 8, 2017
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Portugal ranked fifth in a recent survey on the best countries to live abroad.

Living abroad is a dream for many American travelers, especially given the current political climate. And if you need any ideas about where to pick up and go, a new report has you covered.

InterNations, a global network that helps expats connect with each other, just published its annual Expat Insider survey, which details the best countries to live and work in abroad. The company surveyed more than 12,500 expats in 188 different countries to rate their new homes in five categories: quality of life, ease of settling in, work, family life and personal finance. Within each category, respondents rated their new home countries on up to 43 more specific factors, such as how safe they feel to the ease of making friends.

The overall rankings might surprise you: Respondents gave Bahrain the top spot for its welcoming attitude toward expats and the ease of navigating society if you only speak English. Runner-up Costa Rica made a big jump from previous years in the personal finance category, and Mexico, in third place, continued to be an all-around favorite with those survey takers.

Of course, other sources might offer different opinions about where one might want to live overseas, but this is a solid start. According to InterNations, the 10 best places to live abroad for 2017 are...

10
Spain
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Spain ranked highly for its breadth of leisure activities, and nine in ten survey respondents report feeling satisfied with life in general here.
9
Singapore
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Expats say they feel very safe in Singapore and that it's especially easy to find quality education for kids.
8
Colombia
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Safety can be a concern in some regions, but overall Colombians "are very welcoming," as one expat put it. Respondents say it's easy to settle down here.
7
Malta
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Malta got high marks for work and job security, though expats say they tend to earn less in this island nation than they would in similar jobs back home.
6
New Zealand
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New Zealand ranked highly for work-life balance, and expats here tend to work fewer hours per week than those in other countries.
5
Portugal
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Expats report feeling very welcome in Portugal, and 93 percent say they're "satisfied with their life abroad" here.
4
Taiwan
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Taiwan topped the charts in the health & well-being subcategory, as more expats feel satisfied with the quality of healthcare here than anywhere else in the survey.
3
Mexico
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Great weather, friendly people and a low cost of living put Mexico in the overall top three, even though its safety and healthcare rankings are less than ideal.
2
Costa Rica
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Costa Rica ranked first in the finding friends subcategory, and 48 percent of expats said they could see themselves staying here forever.
1
Bahrain
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Bahrain has received scrutiny lately for harsh treatment of locals who oppose the government's political views. Nevertheless, expats say they feel very at home here, as the country's "melting pot" of cultures makes it a vibrant place to live and work.
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