Expat group Internations has published its Expat Insider survey for 2022, detailing the best and worst countries for expats to move and live.
The survey offers in-depth information on expats’ satisfaction with the quality of life, ease of settling in, working abroad, and personal finance in their respective country of residence.
Participants were asked to rate up to 56 different aspects of life abroad on a scale of one to seven. The rating process emphasized the respondents’ personal satisfaction with these aspects, considering both emotional topics and more factual aspects with equal weight.
Mexico, Indonesia and Taiwan make up the top three destinations, and they all rank very well in the Ease of Settling In and Personal Finance Indices. By comparison, the bottom three destinations including Kuwait (52nd), New Zealand, and Hong Kong, all perform poorly in terms of personal finances for expats.
While Kuwait ranks among the worst destinations worldwide for all factors, expats in New Zealand struggle with their careers and those in Hong Kong are unhappy with the local environment.
The full top 10 list for expats include:
South Africa was ranked as one of the worst places to live alongside Kuwait, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Japan, Turkey, Italy, and Malta.
Notably the country lands among the bottom 10 in the Working Abroad (46th) and Quality of Life (43rd) indices.
Expats worry about their job security (36%), are unhappy with the local job market (47%), and do not feel fairly paid (28%). They also rate their personal safety (48%) and the availability of public transportation negatively (42%).
The country does not perform much better for personal finance (42nd), but comes 28th in the Expat Essentials Index. Still, expats found it hard to get a visa (45% unhappy) and struggle when dealing with the local bureaucracy(54%).
Thanks to a satisfying social life (59% vs. 56% globally) and the relative ease of making local friends (46%), it ranks 26th in the Ease of Settling In Index. Overall, 61% of expats say they are happy with their life in South Africa.