Given that business is truly global these days—opportunities to live abroad are ever-increasing. In an annual survey of expats around the globe, some 9,000 workers in over 100 countries were asked to score 43 aspects of their lives abroad, from commuting and ease of setting up utilities to the cost of education and the ease of making friends — for both expats and their children. (Two countries not appearing in the Top 10: the U.S. and the U.K., which are ranked 30th and 33rd, respectively.) If you are looking to uproot, here are the top-rated countries to consider.
Otherwise famous for watches, chocolate, and neutrality, Switzerland also turns out to be the best place to be an expat. Foreign workers report a happy work-life balance and like the country’s clean air and scenic terrain. Plus, expats do well there—25% earn more than $200,000 per year (perhaps not coincidentally, the same percentage of the country’s expats work in finance).
Gum chewing is forbidden and caning a risk, but the tiny island nation wins high marks from expats for ease of living, pleasant weather and safe, affordable street food. It’s also a good, but pricey place to raise a child according to the survey.
It’s all about the money in China—almost a quarter of expats earn more than $300,000 per year there, more than in any other country. Meanwhile, things are cheap in China; roughly three-quarters of foreign workers report having more spending money than they would at home. Expats in China, 25% of whom work in education, also tend to have more active social lives than those in other locales.
The place to be for the expat seeking stability rather than adventure abroad, Germany scores points for its solid economy and for being a safe, easy place to raise children. German expats are also far more likely to speak the local language than those in other countries.
Despite bouts of political unrest in recent years, expats living on the island kingdom give it good reviews for the local food and culture. The expat crowd— 77% of the country’s workforce—is dominated by Indians and bankers who move to Bahrain for better job prospects. 92% report keeping strong cultural ties with their homeland.
6. New Zealand
Three-quarters of New Zealand’s expats are Britons and they flock to the former colony for its stunning landscape and welcoming culture. Expats reported feeling healthier and sportier in New Zealand than in their home countries. It also rated as the most child-friendly of the nations surveyed.
Like tourists, expats love the Land of Smiles for its food, weather and easy, affordable travel opportunities (mountains in the north, beaches in the south, the rest of Asia just a quick flight from Bangkok). Nearly half of expats also reported finding a life partner there.
Expats adjust easily to life in Taiwan where they find the population friendly and the healthcare among the most excellent and affordable in the world. They also enjoy taking in local customs like the Lunar New Year and local delicacies like bubble tea. A quarter of the island’s expats work in education, while 35% of the total expat community are American.
Affordability, particularly of childcare and education, lands India on the list. While working on the subcontinent is often a considerable cultural adjustment, expats in India reported having a more active social life—44% reported meeting a mate— and a better work-life balance than those elsewhere.
10. Hong Kong
It’s expensive, but Hong Kong, whose expat community is dominated by bankers, is considered a great place to get ahead. Expats in the city-state tend to be high-earners and they enjoy a jet-set lifestyle traveling around the region.