Business The best and worst European countries to live, according to expats

The best and worst European countries to live, according to expats

The best and worst European countries to live, according to expats

A survey of over 12,000 expats reveals the best places to live in Europe for a good work-life balance.

Thinking of moving to another European country but not sure which is the best destination for you? Maybe we can help you.

Remote work is more fashionable than ever, which is why dozens of countries have implemented specific visas for “digital nomads”. Moving abroad has never been so easy.

But obviously it is important to choose a country that offers the best for your career and also suits your lifestyle.

Every year, InterNations, a global community of people living and working abroad, conducts its Expat Insider survey.

From multiple questions to more than 12,000 expatriatess, the organization has developed a classification of 53 countries around the world. And these are, according to those expats, the best (and worst) countries to live.

Spain, the best in Europe

The Expat Insider 2023 report looked at 53 expat destinations from around the world and ranked them based on their quality of life.

The survey asked expatriates to rate the ease these countries offer to settle or work, as well as the leisure activities in the country where they lived.

The ranking also includes an Expat Essentials Index, which looks at factors such as digital services, bureaucracy, housing and language.

This year, two European countries have slipped into the top ten.

Spain has been chosen the best country in Europe and the second in the world for expatriates in 2023.

Since the first InterNations survey in 2014, Spain has consistently ranked in the top ten for quality of life. The country of paella, endless beaches and the NAP It has always been among the best in the world for its leisure options, taking first place this year.

Most expats (88%) say they are satisfied with the culture and nightlife in Spain, compared to 68% globally.

In addition, more than nine out of ten respondents say they fully enjoy the opportunities offered to practice recreational sports.

Spain’s climate and weather rank third globally, which also makes it easy for expats to get out and enjoy leisure activities.

The country does not fare so well when it comes to work. Less than half of the expats surveyed say that moving there has improved their career prospects, and 36% are not satisfied with the local labor market.

That being said, almost three-quarters of expats were satisfied with their balance of work and family life.

Portugal: excellent quality of life, but few job opportunities

For its part, Portugal occupies the tenth position. The ease of settling in this country is one of the most outstanding aspects for expatriates here. More than three quarters of those surveyed say they feel at home, and more than 80% feel welcome in the country.

Most of those surveyed also affirm that the population is, in general, friendly towards foreign residents.

In terms of quality of life, Portugal ranks seventh in the world. Some of its advantages are climate, weather and air quality.

The country fares much worse off when it comes to local bureaucracy, which more than half of expatriates find difficult to deal with. One in four states they are dissatisfied with the availability of online government services, compared to 21% globally.

Portugal barely escapes being among the ten worst countries to work abroad. In the subcategory of professional perspectives, the Iberian country ranks 49 out of 53.

Expats rank it 45th in terms of local career opportunities, and more than one in three are dissatisfied with the job market.

And while the country fares poorly when it comes to fair wages at work (42nd), 78% of expats still agree that their household income is enough or more than enough to lead a comfortable life.

Malta’s troubles

Among the last 10 countries on the list we find Malta, which ranks 46 out of a total of 53.

One of the main issues for expats in this small country is quality of life, with 32% unhappy with recreational sports opportunities, compared to 10% globally.

More than 60% expressed their frustration with the country’s automotive infrastructure, compared to only 13% in the rest of the world.

Another weak point of Malta is the environment and the climate. The country occupies the penultimate place both for its natural and urban environment.

The results regarding work are not much better. 24% do not feel fairly paid for their work, and 17% do not see any use in their work.

In contrast, more than half of expatriates feel satisfied with their economic situation, at the same level as the world average.

Malta fares slightly better when it comes to establishing itself, being ranked 26th in the world. According to the survey, nearly half of expats find it easy to make local friends, above the world average, and up to 64% say they feel at home.

Turkiye, a lot of work and little satisfaction

Turkey ranks 51st in the overall ranking, and last in the ranking when it comes to working abroad.

Almost a third of expatriates in this country are dissatisfied with their working hours, almost double the world average. Expats don’t feel much better about their job security or personal career opportunities.

The country ranks in the bottom 10 for expatriates’ “essentials” index, with 16% rating online services negatively and 15% saying they have difficulty accessing high-speed internet at home.

Regarding quality of life, Turkiye ranks penultimate in security. Less than half of expats are satisfied with their financial situation, compared to 58% globally, and just 44% are happy with the overall cost of living.

The country scores best on the “ease of settling down” index, with 45% happy with the ease of making local friends, slightly above the world average.

Overall, 60% of expats are happy with life in Turkey, compared to 72% globally.

Norway, unfriendly and expensive

Norway has been voted the worst country in Europe for expats, ranking 52nd overall.

More than three out of five expatriates rate the local cost of living negatively, compared to 35% globally. And 37% say that their disposable family income is not enough to lead a comfortable life.

Norway also does not fare well on the “ease of settling down” index and almost a third of expats describe the locals as unfriendly with foreign residents, compared to 18% overall.

Expats also have a hard time making local friends and are not happy with their social life. Overall, 37% say they do not feel at home in Norway, compared to 20% in the rest of the world.

Norway also fares poorly in the “quality of life” index. This is mainly because expatriates are unhappy with the affordability of public transportation and travel opportunities.

The Nordic country also ranks last in the world for culinary variety and dining options.

On the plus side, expats in Norway value political stability, high air quality, and the natural environment.

Source: Euronews Espanol

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