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Taiwan Tops the List of Preferred Expat Destinations

September 2016

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Taiwan_NASA_fixedForget the United States; Taiwan, Malta and Ecuador head the list of countries where expats most want to live this year, a new survey reports.

More than 14,000 expats ranked their preferred countries in the InterNations Expat Insider 2016 survey, released in August. In addition to the best overall rating, Taiwan also won first place for personal finance and quality of life, and second place for its working conditions. More than 9 out of 10 expats in Taiwan praised the quality and affordability of the local healthcare system (94% and 95%, respectively), and 85% were satisfied with their financial situation (compared to a global average of 64%).

Malta, ranking second this year, jumped from 42nd to 6th position for personal finances, despite the fact that one-third of working expats in Malta say their income is generally lower than it was at home. Still, they said, the general cost of living is low and housing is affordable, both ranking very well by 30% of the survey respondents, or more than double the global average.

The rest of the Top 10 for 2016 were: Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Australia, Austria, Luxembourg, and the Czech Republic.

In the United States, it’s friendliness vs. cost

In the United States, the presidential election seems to have negatively affected the results this year, causing concern among potential workers. Only 68% perceive the U.S. to be politically stable—a 17% fall from last year. But the country kept its positive ratings for personal safety and peacefulness (74% and 73%, respectively). And while the number is down from last year, 64% of the expat respondents consider the economy to be a potential benefit of relocating to the United States, in comparison with the 46% globally who felt the same.

On the negative side, 69% of expats said they do not feel that childcare is affordable in the United States, and 51% said the same about education. Almost 6 out of 10 (59%) said healthcare is not easy to afford, more than double the global average of 24%.

Still, America is a welcoming society to expats, 73% reported, while only 1% rated the attitude they met negatively, and even those said it was only slightly so.

The annual Expat Insider respondents represented 174 nationalities living in 191 countries or territories, who rated 43 different aspects of life abroad under six broad topics: Quality of Life, Ease of Settling In, Working Abroad, Family Life, Personal Finance, and Cost of Living. Countries must have at least 50 expats reporting to be included, except in the Family Life section, where only 30 are required.

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